The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos branch, Wednesday, directed medical doctors in three government hospitals on Lagos Island to embark on an indefinite strike over the death of its member, Dr Diaso Vwaere.
The directive is contained in a statement jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of NMA in the state, Dr Benjamin Olowojebutu and Dr Ajibowo Ismail, on Wednesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Vwaere, a medical house officer with the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos, died on Aug. 1, owing to the injuries sustained when the elevator she was in crashed from the 10th floor of the hospital building.
NMA directed the doctors at the General Hospital, Odan; Lagos Island Maternity Hospital and Massey Street Children’s Hospital to embark on the strike until investigations into the cause of the death were completed and justice served.
“The information we got was that she was trapped in the elevator for more than 40 minutes before she was rescued.
“We were also reliably informed that there was no blood available for resuscitation, and this has become a recurring issue as a result of the review made by the government on the previous policy on blood donation.
“To us, this was an avoidable death and it’s unfortunate that it was allowed to happen. We are pained and we are mourning.
“We are well aware that this same elevator has been a source of problem for many years during which several complaints had been made to all relevant agencies with no respite.
“It is very painful that at a time when the country is battling with unprecedented brain drain, a young colleague that would have been expected to attend to 6,000 Nigerians was allowed to die a needless death,” the association said.
It called for immediate, unbiased investigation into the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident.
“That all those found culpable in this matter, especially the General Manager of the Lagos State Infrastructure Management Agency, Ms Adenike Adekambi, are all brought to justice,” the association said.
NMA also directed all the doctors in other government hospitals in the state to scale down activities as a mark of respect for their dead colleague.
“Only emergency services should be rendered for the next five days,” it said.
The association appealed to government to urgently begin an overhaul of the house officers’ quarters on the Island and repair the infrastructure in all government hospitals that needed attention.
NMA also urged the government to revamp the blood transfusion system in the state for improved services.
“We appeal to our colleagues to remain calm, as NMA Lagos State leadership is on top of the situation and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that justice is not just served but seen to have been served,” the association said.
It commiserated with the family of the late doctor, her colleagues on the Island, Medical Guild and the body of doctors in the state, while praying for the fortitude to bear the irreparable and unfortunate loss.