Lagos Hospital Chains Woman to Urinal Pipe for More than a Month over Unpaid Bills


A private hospital, which is based in the Ikotun Egbe area of Lagos, detained Jessica Ugwuoke since August 12, 2015, after the woman and her relatives said they could not afford to pay the bill for her Caesarean section (CS).

Mrs. Ugwuoke was transferred from a maternity clinic to Samaria Hospital, which is located on Kudaki Road near Hostel bus stop in Egbe, Lagos State. The patient’s husband, Tochukwu Ugwuoke, was asked to pay N30,000 for blood transfusion into his wife, reported to have lost a lot of blood during labor. The couple’s baby died.

After the loss of her child, Mrs. Ugwuoke has been detained by the hospital for failure to pay the
hospital’s bills, which came to N285,000. The detained patient told a correspondent of SaharaReporters that the couple was not informed of the cost of the Caesarean section until after the surgery.

According to her, one Dr. Clem ordered that she be denied a hospital bed and refused her further treatment after her surgery because she and her husband could not pay the amount of the bill.

“The day they discharged me from the bed, Dr. Clem asked me to tell my husband to bring his money even if he [my husband] has to steal,” the woman said. “I have been lying down on the passageway,” Mrs. Ugwuoke added.

SaharaReporters learned that the detained patient’s husband, who is currently unemployed, had pleaded with the hospital to release his wife, promising to seek a loan to pay her hospital expenses, but the hospital declined his request.

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Mrs. Ugwuoke, who is chained to a urinal pipe to forestall her escape, described her treatment as dehumanizing. She pleaded with the Lagos State government and human rights organizations to intervene to ensure her release.

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