Death of UNIBEN student at UBTH sparks students protest

The University of Benin Teaching Hospital ( UBTH) was shut down on Thursday afternoon when students from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) blocked entrance to the hospital while protesting the death of a student who was said to have died shortly after being brought to the hospital.

The aggrieved students who protested from the University of Benin main gate to the UBTH gate alleged that their colleague identified as Chibuike Jerald, a 300 level student of the Department of Philosophy and Religion gave up as result of negligence.

The students say his death was avoidable and besieged the hospital in anger forcing the UBTH security officials to lock the gates to the hospital to avoid further escalation.

Speaking to newsmen, the leader of the group of protesters who gave his name Agbolahor Manassehon said their colleague died because of negligience on the part of the hospital management.

"When he was brought in after complaining of fever, we took him to the Accident and Emergency Department around 8pm last night and met some doctors at work. They told us that they could barely help because they did not have Adrenaline and intravenous. We were given prescriptions to go and get the medications," he said.

"We searched for the drugs but because it was night we could not get them on time. By the time we could get the recommended materials we were informed he had passed on. It is worrying that his death which was very avoidable was caused by issues as embarassing as a hospital like UBTH not having syringes and needles.

It has become a common practice in the UBTH for doctors to demand from the patience before obliging them medical services due to non availability of basic medical facilities," he said.

He also alleged that the continued industrial disharmony in the institution has affected the quality of health care delivery as doctors, nurses and other health workers always exhibit nonchalant attitude due to poor welfare.

They called on the management of the hospital to improve on the relationship with the workers in the hospital so as improve the quality of health care services given to the public.

Some of the placards held by the protesters had messages like, "Ibadin enough is enough; UBTH is not working; There is no gloves, syringes in UBTH; Prof Ibadin pay UBTH doctors;UBTH has lost her glory," amongst others.

The protest comes after several warnings came from doctors at the hospital who last month wrote a letter to patients informing them of conditions in the hospital which has made it impossible for doctors to function seamlessly in their effort to guarante adequate healthcare delivery.

They listed some of the problems as the lack of materials, decaying infrastructure and what they termed management irresponsibility.

In March, the Association of Resident Doctors, (ARD) UBTH chapter, declared a State of Emergency at the hospital due to the acute decay of administration procedures and state of equipment in the hospital.

Sent to OluFamous.Com by *Ahaoma Kanu*
Investigative Journalist, writer, activist and volunteer.
National Daily Newspaper