The management of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) has debunked claims that the former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Obadiah Mailafia, was treated shabbily at the facility before his death on Sunday morning.
On Monday, the Middle Belt Forum claimed that Mailafia endured a miserable ordeal in the hands of doctors at UATH, saying the officials refused to attend to him despite his condition.
But the Chief Medical Director of UATH, Prof. Bissallah Ekele, described the allegations as false.
Ekele told Premium Times that Mailafia had been attended to at two hospitals where he tested positive for COVID-19 before he was eventually transferred to the facility when his health had degenerated. He said the former CBN deputy governor eventually died of COVID-19 owing to underlying diseases.
“I can confirm in my honour that all the allegations circulating in the media are false. We never asked for any deposit before commencement of treatment. The doctor on duty that day was on ground and received the patient and he was never at any point refused oxygen. In fact, he was placed on a high-flow-oxygen to enable fast breathing.
“It was unfortunate that his health deteriorated rapidly despite all efforts to save his life,” Ekele said.
Usman Galadima, the doctor on duty during the incident, also dismissed the allegation that the hospital demanded a N600,000 deposit before attending to the deceased.
“I was on duty between Saturday, September 18, and Sunday, 19. So when I resumed work in the morning, I was informed that we would be expecting a patient from CBN and I informed my staff -the nurses and a hygienist to prepare the VIP room and the general medical ward.
“An ambulance from EHA clinics arrived in the afternoon. We adorned our PPE and rushed to meet the patient. He was already on the ambulance oxygen and from his oxygen consumption level, I noticed he was in a severe condition. We placed him on a highflow oxygen with no delay and wheeled him into the VIP section in a wheelchair.
“We are a tertiary referral centre for severe and moderate cases of such conditions. I discussed with the patient and the wife the kind of illness he has, the cause and treatment procedure before we started treatment. The wife informed us that the CBN is fully behind the patients’ management and that we should give him the best and that is exactly what we did.
“The patient got a bit uncomfortable later in the night so we attached an official to stay with him and monitor his vital signs because of the severity of his condition. We used about four cylinders of oxygen on him throughout the night. In the early hours of the following day, we noticed he was deteriorating in spite of all the treatment procedures. He could no longer sustain breathing and we had to start resuscitation. Sadly, we couldn’t save him,”Galadima said.
He added that Malaifia was already certified dead before a foreign consultant was asked to intervene.