Family Loses Only Child, Blames ‘Short-Staffed’ Ondo Hospital
The family of one-year-and-seven-month-old Dominion Akintan has accused the management of Okitipupa General Hospital, Ondo State, of negligence after he died at the hospital.
Punch Metro gathered that the child, who was rushed to the facility on Saturday, October 8, for blood transfusion, did not get medical attention due to shortage of personnel.
It was learnt that Dominion died while his parent and a good Samaritan attempted to take him from the hospital to a private clinic, which was some kilometres away.
An eyewitness, Ekundayo Ayorinde, said no doctor or nurse was on duty when the child was rushed to the hospital.
According to Ayorinde, medical workers are only available in the morning.
He said, “When we got to the hospital, the entrance of the building was dark. I had to use my phone torchlight to brighten our path. There was no nurse or doctor in the hospital. I and the father of the boy were shouting for nurses, but there was no one to attend to us.
“After some minutes, a worker called a doctor, who said he was on casual leave and he was not around.
“On Sunday, I spoke to a woman who told me that if I wanted to meet a doctor in the hospital, I must go there in the morning because their doctors are never available in the afternoon or night.”
The child’s father, Olawale Akintan, lamented that despite calling for help at the emergency unit of the hospital for minutes, no one attended to the boy.
In tears, he noted that the deceased was his only child and he did not know how to bear the loss.
He said, “On Saturday, I rushed my baby, Dominion Akintan, to that general hospital by 9pm. On getting there, I was told to go to the emergency ward. I rushed to that place and kept shouting for help for over 15 minutes, but no one came out to attend to me.
“Unfortunately, I lost my boy on the way to a nearby private hospital. My boy was in need of blood. He gave up before any attention could be given to him.
“I lost my only child, and it was painful. I am not in a good condition right now. My wife is depressed. I don’t know how my family will get out of this pain. I cannot explain why a state hospital will not have medical personnel to attend to patients. The government needs to bring professionals to that hospital; they should hire trained doctors and pay them so they can be willing to work there.”
When contacted, the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Banji Ajaka, said the chief medical director of the hospital confirmed the incident.
The health commissioner, however, blamed the parents of the child for not seeking medical attention on time.
He said, “The CMD attested to the presence of the family of the deceased at the hospital on referral from a private hospital. He also confirmed that a worker put a call across to the doctor after calling another doctor who was on leave.
“According to the CMD, the family was asked to buy a card when the worker confirmed that the doctor was in the call room. But before the doctor would avail himself to the place, the family had left with their child, possibly to another hospital for immediate attention and unfortunately, the child died on the way to the other hospital.
“I blame the parents who did not seek medical attention on time. And in such a hurry, some protocols needed to be observed. I also blame the medical personnel who are supposed to be apt with their jobs especially in emergency situations. We are not short of medical doctors; currently, we have over 12 medical staff and specialists in various units in that same hospital.”
Ajaka said the chief medical director had been asked to reach out to the bereaved parents, adding that the state government would look into the incident.