Child Help in Legal Defence of Rights to Education in Nigeria (CHILDREN) Project, a developmental, non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) who takes special interest in cases that concerns women and children has condemned the lackadaisical attitude of the Lagos State Government and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to children health care cases in the state.
This came on the heels of the arrival of Master Omonigho Abraham, the four year old boy who was attacked by dogs in the Igando area of Lagos State from India, where he was taken for treatment.
It would be recalled that Baby Omonigho was attacked by two dogs in their house on Adegboyega Street, Akesan Estate owned by one Mr Stanley Wesley.
It was reported that the dogs chased the victim and his two brothers, Osemudiamen and Bobby, while they were taking turns to ride a bicycle. While the others escaped because they were older, the dogs reportedly bite off the scalp of the victim and dragged him around. It was that said policemen and residents who came around could not rescue him until his mother arrived and fought off the dogs.
Omonigho was taken to Igando General Hospital from where he was transferred to the Lagos State Teaching Hospital because of the severity of the attack. It would be recalled that when the news broke out, the Lagos State Government, promised and issued a directive that it would foot all the medical expenses of the child.
However, the boy’s stay at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, was marred by complaints of neglect and at a point, his father, Mr. Odia Abraham raised an alarm that the poor boy’s condition had worsened because doctors were not attending to him despite the governor’s directive. This compelled CHILDREN Project, on the 3rd of November, 2014, to write a letter to the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to compel LASUTH to do the needful on the boy.
In December, Odia announced that the Delta State Government and a non-governmental organization, Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care had concluded plans to fly his son to India. An alternative plan by the Lagos State Government was turned down by the victim’s family, who said the India travel plan had been concluded.
The four-year-old departed for India on November 28, 2014 despite concerns by the Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Mr. Jide Idris, that his condition was delicate and needed special attention.
For the avoidance of doubt, there are other cases that had been pending even before the baby Omonigho’s case. For instance is the case of a teenager, Master Sodiq Adeleke, a former student of Lagos Model College, Meiran, who got his right hand burnt while he was bearing the ‘Torch of Unity’ during his school’s Inter-House Sports sometimes in December, 2012 and in whose case we informed the Lagos State Government who promptly intervened by directing the boy to be treated at LASUTH on the bill of the state government.
Sadly up till now, Sodiq Adeleke is yet to be operated upon as prescribed while the injury on the poor boy’s burnt hand keeps festering; a development that is capable of rendering the affected hand permanently dysfunctional.
Our organization had written the Lagos State Governor even after Baby Omonigho was taken to India, making reference to Sodiq Adeleke’s case, so that the case would not be prolonged any further. The Lagos State Government promised to get back to us, which they have not till date.
CHILDREN Project believes that this negligence on the part of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in these two cases is uncalled for. It is worthy to note that while they were still vacillating on Omonigho’s treatment, he was transported to far way India, and within three weeks he is back. This is less than the period that LASUTH used in delaying. Children of such age are supposed to be entitled to good health care delivery that will be administered free of charge.
CHILDREN Project frowns at this unwholesome attitude of the Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) which can be viewed, as not only a sheer of display of lack of respect to life, but also to the office of the Governor. We also want to be sound that the owner of the dogs that bite Baby Omonigho should be appositely prosecuted of whatever crime he might have committed.
National Coordinator, CHILDREN Project