By Samuel Adegoke
The University College Hospital (UCH) and the hospital’s branch of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) have denied a media report that 17 doctors have died of COVID-19 at the hospital.
A report had quoted ARD president Dr Temitope Husain as saying that 17 doctors died of the pandemic at the hospital in recent times. But Husain in a statement on Sunday denied ever granting interview with any reporter on the subject. He described the report as a fiction of the writer’s imagination.
Husain said in his statement: “ The reports claimed that I granted an interview with a reporter during which I made the claim. It was first published by the online version of a reputable national daily but which has since been corrected after my protest.
“Since the publication of the claim, I have received several calls from friends and relations from home and abroad confirming the authenticity of the report thereby bringing me a great embarrassment.
“For the attention of the general public, I hereby state categorically that I did not grant an interview with the said reporter let alone make the claim.
“The Management of the UCH has been doing its best to keep its staff and patients safe since the outbreak of COVID-19, hence there has not been any incident of deaths of any doctor of the tertiary health institution as has been erroneously reported.
“I, therefore, advise media outlets against falling for the fake news which is capable of denting my image and that of the ARD ( UCH).
“I also urge social media users to shun the pressure of sharing the fake news as it impugns on my integrity within and outside the UCH.”
In a similar release by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mr Toye Akinrinlola the management of the hospital also denied the report.
It said: “The attention of the management of the University College Hospital, Ibadan has been drawn to a news item credited to the President of the UCH Branch Association of Resident Doctors purportedly claiming that 17 doctors have died of COVID 19 related diseases.
“The management has viewed the said publication as complete falsehood and absolutely reckless on the part of the ARD President. Though he has denied that he didn’t grant any press interview in that regard, we see the publication as malicious and it is rejected in all ramifications.
“For the avoidance of doubts, quite a number of members of staff of the Hospital contracted the COVID-19, but it is also proper to state that since the members of staff live within the society, they remain as vulnerable as any member of the society.
“The Hospital has taken very seriously issue of staff welfare, especially the frontline health workers by providing adequate personal protective equipments for them, while we also observe all COVID 19 protocols as laid
by the Nigeria, Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“We hereby state in clear terms that the UCH has not lost any doctor to COVID 19 and , unfortunately, we lost two member of staff who were not health workers to COVID-19 related diseases.
“We sincerely appeal to the members of the press to properly cross check reports from the relevant sources in the hospital before publishing any reports about us.
“Again, we appeal to the public to be patient with the hospital while the renovation of the hospital is ongoing, and that we shall serve the public better after the renovation.”