Tuesday, 18 May 2021: Patients, their relatives, and stakeholders of the hospital community on Monday staged a protest against what they call poor service delivery at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State.
The protesters, who gathered under the aegis of Advocates for Good Governance, carried placards and blocked the gate of the hospital, alleging that a lot of avoidable deaths have been recorded in the hospital because of poor management.
According to a protest letter titled; “Abuse of Due Process, Racketeering, Extortion, Graft and Celebration of Corruption at the NnamdiAzikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi’, and signed by concerned advocates from the hospital community which was made available to newsmen, the group faulted the management of the hospital in contract awards.
This letter revealed that there is lack of drugs in the hospital, and there is absence of drugs in emergency wards and theatre, leading to patients being frequently asked to go outside the hospital to buy drugs.
“Surgical operations are being frequently postponed due to lack of materials in the theatre, and this frequently leads to patients’ death in emergency situations, and wounds unattended to for many days due to lack of materials to dress them.
“As members of Advocates for Good Governance, and interested parties, we were quite concerned and alarmed to discover that jobs are racketeered and sold, and this has led to the recruitment of unqualified personnel.
“We have decided to carry out a peaceful protest to sensitize the public on what is happening in NAUTH, the only federal medical institution in Anambra State, and demand the cancellation of the whole CMD selection process, and have a new one started.”
The protesters demanded for the dissolution of the present hospital management board, stating that they can never oversee a free, fair and transparent process, because they are deeply rooted in corruption.
The acting Chief Managing Director, Ugbiaja, when reacting to the protest, dismissed the protesters as faceless and sponsored troublemakers adding that he was aware of the planning of the protest.
“Those people cannot be taken seriously; they are miscreants who did not even know what they were gathered for. The hospital is a public place, the processes are open, and there are official channels to seek redress.
“It is sad that members of the hospital community could sponsor such propaganda. Whoever is not satisfied with anything should follow the right channel, which includes the hospital board and the ministry of health.
“The people behind it are not happy that they lost, even though they know nothing about hospital management.”