Medical doctors at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Edo State last Saturday applied sutures with bare hands on 19 accident victims.
The Guardian reports that the injured passengers were rushed to the hospital following a multiple car crash that occurred in Estako West Local Government Area of the state.
Medical doctors on duty reportedly did their best to attend to the victims, as they stitched up cuts using their bare hands and not needles.
A medical doctor with the twitter account @Richtyns took to Twitter, posted a 14-second video clip, which showed the doctors stitching up a patient.
According to @Richtyns, the accident victims were all Joint Health Social Union (JOHESU) members of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) chapter.
“Doctors in ISTH using their hands to apply sutures to JOHESU members UBTH chapter. Nineteen of them were involved in an accident today. There are no materials to use as JOHESU members ISTH have locked up all equipment.”
Efforts to speak to @Richtyns proved abortive, as messages left on his twitter inbox did not elicit any response as at press time. However, in a telephone conversation with the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Joshua Uwaila, he refuted @Richtyns claims of the victims being JOHESU members of UBTH.
“The victims are staff from an outsourcing agency. They are contract staff who are cleaners, and as such are not members of the health workers union. You need to be a full staff to be a member of the union. This is not to downplay the incident, because they are also human beings.”
When asked to provide the number of victims and to speak on the treatment received at ISTH, Uwaila stated: “We don’t know the actual number involved in the accident. About the situation in ISTH, I don’t know. But one thing is for sure, JOHESU is on strike but doctors are on ground. As a result, nobody can function properly when only a part is available.”
No representative of ISTH is yet to speak on the matter, as the public relations officer of ISTH was unavailable to attend to calls as at the time of filling this report. Meanwhile, Uwaila has appealed to leaders of JOHESU and the Federal Government to come to a peaceful resolution as the lives of Nigerians are at stake.
Similarly, a doctor who pleaded for anonymity, said: “Due to the ongoing strike, hospital equipment are limited and hard to come by in the sense that the health workers keep charge of them.”
He added that doctors and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) should unite with health workers to tackle the challenges facing the health sector.
“Doctors should encourage their fellow health workers, showing leadership in advising the government on why they should have an increment, with the bid to improve the health sector.”