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Students allege unethical practices in health centres

By Ngozi Adobi, Chiamaka Ukachukwu and Nana-Aisha Sulaiman
05 December 2019   |   3:01 am
Over the years, healthcare services in the country’s higher institutions have followed a sequence that does not support in-house patronage of students.

Over the years, healthcare services in the country’s higher institutions have followed a sequence that does not support in-house patronage of students.

Some of the challenges include poor diagnosis, wrong prescriptions, maladministration of drugs, carelessness, delay in intervention, lack o drugs and other facilities needed in a 21st-century healthcare centre due to paucity of funds.

Just two weeks ago, a student of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), simply identified as Lillian had complained about typhoid and malaria-related symptoms but was administered an injection at the institution’s medical clinic, which resulted to swellings in some parts of her body, including her genitals.

A friend of the victim said she had to take coconut water as an antidote. It was her family nurse who later revealed that what the clinic gave her was for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

Some students who spoke with The Guardian on their experiences at their various institutions’ health centres described their experiences at as dreadful and horrible.

A 400-level student from the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Chike Ejike (not real name), was almost unfortunate after he had been administered expired infusion for a period of two days.

According to Ejike, “My friends came visiting and they had noticed that my health continued to deteriorate, so they called the attention of my parents and I was later transferred to a private hospital in Asaba.”

He added that it was after much investigation that it was discovered that the infusions were expired.

Also, a student from the University of Benin (UNIBEN), who pleaded anonymity, had while sharing her experienced revealed how disgusting she felt when a doctor on duty drifted from the normal medical enquiries to ask about her sexual activeness.

“I sat directly opposite him in the consulting room and the only question he deemed necessary was if I was sexually active,” she said.

Another student of UNIBEN, Osatohanmwen Lois (pseudonym), complained that in her own case the doctor had conducted an unauthorised laboratory test on her when she had malaria.

“After the consultation, he confidently told me that I was not pregnant. In anger I queried him for carrying out a test contrary to the complains I had relayed.”

While some students were displeased with the conduct of the medical personnel, others frowned at the deplorable state of their medical facilities saying that they lack modern equipment and are in very bad shape.

For Osasere Usenbor, a UNN student, the university’s medical centre is in a “no good state.” “The clinic’s atmosphere is poor and most likely sickening and it takes loads to have a doctor attend to you.”

Echoing Usenbor’s view, another student from Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), who pleaded anonymity, said maladministration of drugs has become infamous in her institution and that the medical centre is filled with incompetent personnel.

But a student of Kwara State Polytechnic (KP), Ilorin, Babalola Opeyemi, said the story is different in his institution as they receive adequate healthcare services when in need.

He said, “We get optimum treatments when we need care, the only problem is that students have to present their identity cards or the acceptance fee payment slip, if not you wont be attended to.”
However, a 500-level medical student of UNIBEN, Jeff Uduehi, blamed the situation on poor funding of healthcare centres saying for those clinics to function optimally they need adequate funds.

“Indeed the hospitals and clinics are in dire need and there is need for restructuring of university’s healthcare system. All healthcare facilities on campus needs more than what it is getting – the infrastructure needs to be revamped, better facilities are needed and this will require much funding from government and good spirited Nigerians.”

 

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