The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State chapter, has called for an indefinite strike among doctors following the death of their colleague, Dr. Vwaere Diaso.
The three government hospitals on Lagos Island to embark on the indefinite strike are the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos; Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos, and the Massey Street Children’s Hospital, Lagos.
The association also announced a five-day mourning period in the state, with other government-owned hospitals asked to scale down activities as a sign of respect for the deceased.
Dr. Vwaere Diaso lost her life on Monday, July 31, after being trapped in an elevator at General Hospital, Odan, Lagos, for over 40 minutes without access to blood for resuscitation.
Her colleagues and friend say the elevator had been bad for a while and that the hospital management had failed to repair it despite several complaints.
In a statement signed by Dr. Benjamin Olowojebutu (NMA Lagos State Chairman) and Ismail Ajibowo (Secretary), the NMA demanded an immediate and unbiased investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident.
It read, “The NMA Lagos State received with rude shock the death of one of our members, Dr Vwaere Diaso, a medical house officer, whose death occurred as a result of injuries sustained when the elevator she was in crashed.
“This is heartbreaking, heart-wrenching, and quite unfortunate. We commiserate with her immediate family, her colleagues on the Island, the Medical Guild, and all body of doctors in Lagos State.
“The information we got was that she was trapped in the elevator for more than 40 minutes before she was rescued.
“We were also reliably informed that there was no blood available for resuscitation, and this has become a recurring issue as a result of the review made by the government on the previous policy on blood donation.
“To us, this was an avoidable death and it’s unfortunate that it was allowed to happen. We are pained and we are mourning. We are well aware that this same elevator has been a source of problem for many years during which several complaints have been made to all relevant agencies with no respite.”
The association called for accountability, especially for the General Manager of the Lagos State Infrastructure Management Agency, Ms. Adenike Adekambi.
As a mark of respect for the late colleague, the NMA directed doctors in the three government hospitals on the Island (GH Lagos, LIMH, and MSCH) to begin an indefinite strike. Other government hospitals were asked to limit their services to emergency cases during the five-day mourning period.
The association also urged the government to overhaul the house officers’ quarters on the island and attend to necessary infrastructural repairs in all government hospitals.
“We declare a five-day statewide mourning period; we demand an immediate, unbiased investigation into the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident; all those found culpable in this matter, especially the General Manager of the Lagos State Infrastructure Management Agency, Ms Adenike Adekambi, are all brought to justice.
“We direct all our doctors in the three government hospitals on the Island (GH Lagos, LIMH, and MSCH) to commence indefinite strike action until the investigations are completed and justice served; we immediately direct our doctors in all the other government hospitals to scale down activities as a mark of respect for our dead colleague. Only emergency services should be rendered for the next five days.
“The government should as a matter of urgency commence the complete overhaul of the house officers’ quarters on the island; all other infrastructures in all our government hospitals that need repairs should be urgently attended to. The blood transfusion system in Lagos State needs immediate revamping for improved services.
“As a result of this sad incident, the State Officers Committee of the Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos State, has decided that the upcoming Annual General Meeting will be a low-key event as a mark of respect to our colleague.
“We appeal to our colleagues to remain calm as NMA Lagos State leadership is on top of the situation and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that justice is not just served but seen to have been served,” the statement noted.
Amidst the tragedy, house doctors at the hospital where the incident occurred staged a protest, demanding justice for their fallen colleague.
Watch the video below:
Meanwhile, Former Nigerian Golden Eaglets star and FC Copenhagen forward, Akinkunmi Amoo has been sentenced to one year in prison for sexually assaulting three women in Denmark.