Did the medical staff at Jaja Clinic in the University of Ibadan fail in their primary responsibility of saving lives? This is the question for which authorities of the premier university must provide answers, after a 200 level student of the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Muslihudeen Mayowa Alaran died under controversial circumstance when he was rushed to the clinic after he reportedly slumped, while watching the European Champions League first leg semi-final match between Barcelona of Spain and Bayern Munich last Wednesday. ADEOLA OLADELE writes on the sad event…
The sad incident took place at the Independence Hall of the institution.
WESTERN POST confirmed the late student fainted during the second half of the match, eventually won 3-0 by Barcelona courtesy of late goals from Lionel Messi and Neymar.
According to reports, the Junior Common Room (JCR) of the Independence Hall, where Alaran and many other students were watching the match was said to have been overcrowded and stuffy.
However, other students were said to have performed a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the deceased as a first step, after which he was immediately rushed to the school clinic, Jaja, where he gave up the ghost, shortly after receiving first aid.
Students of the institution later went embarked on a protest that paralyzed activities in and around the university, following the death of the student.
Some of the student protesters, who spoke with WESTERN POST (WP) blamed his death, on the negligence and lackadaisical attitude of the health centre workers, saying that was not the first time a student died due to the attitude of the nurses at their health centre, claiming that they were told by nurses in attendance that they would not attend to the said student unless they presented his clinic card.
In 2004, a student was also said to have been rushed to the clinic after a bone got stuck in his throat while eating. The authorities at the clinic were said to have refused to attend to the patient, who was bleeding and by the time he was given medical attention, it was too late as the student died while being transferred to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
That incident resulted in crisis that led to the proscription of the Student Union Government for some time.
The students also added that lack of power supply to the hall contributed to the over-crowding of the room where Alaran suffocated.
According to one of the protesters who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “I am not saying that the school management should not be scolded for the issue of electricity and negligence of those at the health centre, but I am repeating that the owner of the soul has taken it. We should pray for the soul of the deceased and to Allah to make our returns pleasing to Him.”
But in a twist, the Students’ Union Government President, Mr. Femi Odesola said that the student died before getting to the health centre. But the students who surrounded him when he was speaking to the newsmen violently shouted him down, protesting against the SUG president, saying that he was working for the school authority to cover up what really happened.
They said that on different occasions, the SUG president had betrayed the students when it comes to issues relating to their welfare.
Clinic Staff Covering up, Students Alleged
Students alleged that the clinic staffs were trying to cover up and twist the real happening by saying the deceased was brought into the clinic dead.
However, a female student (name withheld), who was said to have been privy to the incident was reportedly not ready to give evidence as some persons had allegedly threatened to deal with her if she comes forward to testify against the clinic staff.
The students who did not allow the SUG president to speak on their behalf to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Isaac Adewole demanded that the school authority should punish the staff who, refused to treat the deceased, demanding that ambulances should also be provided in all halls of residence and ensure constant power supply.
When the VC and his men went to the health centre to know what really happened, the staff of the clinic locked the door and denied the VC entrance, out of the fear that the students that followed him might destroy many things.
Vehicular Movement Paralysed
Policemen and members of State Security Service were on ground to prevent the situation from degenerating, as vehicular activities were paralysed, while the aggrieved students took to the street to mourn their departed colleague.
School Authorities Call for Calm
In an interview with WP, the Dean of Students of the institution, Prof. Akinola Alada sympathised with students and parents of the deceased, while calling on them not to take laws into their hands, by disrupting the peace in the institution and its environs over the death of their colleague.
He said that the school management had commenced arrangement within the next 48 hours to set up a committee to look into the issue and proffer adequate solution in order to forestall the recurrence of such unfortunate incident.
Students Beat up New Telegraph Reporter
However, there was a mild drama when the New Telegraph reporter, Mr. Sola Adeyemo was physically assaulted by the angry protesters, while carrying out his official duty.
Mr. Adeyemo, who was severely beaten and whose dress was completely torn by the students while taking photographs of students who mounted road blocks at the main entrance to the institution, was however, rescued by the policemen on identifying himself as a journalist.
Meanwhile, the death of Mayowa Alaran has brought to the fore poor state of facilities and inefficiency in the university system in the country and the need for urgent steps to be taken to address the problems.