Sunday Tsado, fondly called Sunny, was a young man who through his hard work, was a breadwinner for his family. Sunny was a peaceful gentle man from a humble background who found happiness and fulfillment in his job, Photography.
Sunny was unfortunately attacked and shot by armed robbers in his home, Lugbe in Abuja in the early hours of 2nd May, 2016. He was immediately taken to the National Hospital, Abuja. He arrived at the hospital, bleeding and in severe pain at about 2.30am. He was denied the required urgent medical care including blood transfusion to save his life. Even without initial assessment, his family and friends were told to provide blood for transfusion because there was none available.
However, while the struggle to ensure he gets the emergency medical attention was ongoing, Sunny’s other friends and well-wishers were trying to reach his elder brother who works as a security man at the same National Hospital. They were able to contact his brother at about 5.30am, when he immediately found his way to the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital. The brother upon arrival, angrily cried out to the health workers asking if they knew the patient was his brother. That was ONLY when two pints of blood were immediately released to be transfused to poor Sunny. Other forms of treatment were also started at the same time.
Unfortunately, the golden opportunity Sunny had to be saved, was over. Sunny died at about 8.00am.
Why is this case painful and disturbing? Sunny, the breadwinner of his family was left unattended to at the accident and emergencies, until his people were able to reach his brother who works as a gateman at the same hospital.
Sunny only received treatment from 5.30am, only because of the brother; 150 minutes later. Is this the first of such cases? Unfortunately No, this is one of the commonest, unacceptable and unethical practices experienced by most Nigerians. Sunny would probably be alive if he were brought in an SUV or some exotic car.
We have imagined that Sunny would probably be alive if he had influential people take him to the hospital. Perhaps he would have received the required medical care at the golden hour, if the health care providers had earlier cue he was a relation to one of their staff. But should medical attention be discharged on such standard?
If Sunny didn’t have a brother working at the hospital, he would probably NOT receive the attention he got about 150 minutes later. It’s more painful that the same blood that wasn’t available earlier, became available because he changed status from being an “ordinary” patient to a staff’s relative.
There is no doubt that the failure of the health system in this situation is a bad reflection of the country. It is more heart breaking that such occurrences are associated with the National Hospital, Abuja. It’s more disheartening to know that Sunny, and more people have had their lives ended due to such preferential treatment and negligence, if not more.