How we lost Dr Richard Idowu, many others to poor public health service

By Asalu Ayodele David (Asler)

The unfortunate incident that led to the death of my dear brother, Dr. Richard Adelani Idowu was one that we could have avoided, if we paid closer attention to quality healthcare, not just in Ejigbo but in Osun State generally.

I was at the scene of the incident and as a matter of fact, I sustained minor wounds from the accidental discharge myself, but that was the first of many unfortunate incidences that occurred that night.

After RAI got hit by that bullet, then began the rush to get him to a Hospital and save his life. The State General Hospital in Ejigbo was not an option as we were well aware of the dysfunctional state of the hospital, due to a shortage of staff.

We proceeded to a Private Hospital in Ejigbo but the service there was also nothing to write home about. I had to give money to a staff of the Hospital to buy fuel so they could power their Generator. There was again no competent hands on the ground to give him necessary emergency care and we left the Hospital for another private Hospital in Ejigbo.

By the time we got there, and coupled with all of the lapses in this second hospital too, we lost a man we should have easily saved. We lost an illustrious son to the dysfunctional state of our healthcare facilities, both public and private.

Ordinarily, the State General Hospital should be our go-to Hospital, but it is a known fact to every Ejigbo dweller that the Hospital is extremely short-staffed. This should have been corrected with the employment of 1500 Health Workers by the Oyetola administration, but the current government canceled the recruitment of the much-needed health workers. Since that step, the General Hospital in Ejigbo has remained a beautiful edifice without qualified hands to run it. This is unfortunate!

The private hospitals in Ejigbo also need to urgently improve their services. Since the death of Dr. Richard, I have heard of several avoidable deaths of that nature that have occurred in those hospitals in the past. The community stakeholders on the Board of those hospitals in Ejigbo need to urgently work on hiring more qualified manpower so that we do not continue to lose people to avoidable situations.

After we lost Ade Ori Okin, I proceeded to take care of my own wound and found it quite disheartening that I had to arrange for the purchase of tetanus injection through a private Nurse, instead of established hospitals. When all of the hospitals in a town do not have ordinary tetanus injections, we know that we have reached a point where we must all pause, reflect, and take urgent action.

In the absence of efficient government intervention, I call on Ejigbo indigenes at home and abroad to come together to build an efficient healthcare delivery system that serves our community optimally, to prevent these unfortunate losses. We owe a duty to ourselves to ensure we do not lose any more lives to this failed healthcare system that we have today.

It is excruciating that we lost our dear brother, Dr. Richard Adelani Idowu (Ade Ori Okin) to the sad occurrence. Still, we must now work tenaciously to ensure that we do not fail ourselves in such a painful manner ever again. A timely stitch would have saved him and we must now ensure that the people of our town get that stitch in time whenever the need arises.

May God bless Ejigbo land and help us make the right decisions for our father land.

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