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Doctors’ Strike: Woman loses baby after UCTH turned her down

A pregnant woman in labour lost her baby after she was turned down by the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Calabar, Cross River State.

The incident occurred on Tuesday morning (July 25) at about 11:53 a.m., when a man, identified as Paul Ekpe walked in with his wife (name unknown) to have a baby. The painful look on the woman’s face shows how intense she was in labour.

All efforts for her to have her child at the hospital were turned down by nurses who said, “the doctors are on strike.”

“After spending some time and being referred here and there, one of the nurses told me the doctors are on strike, and that my wife cannot have her baby here,” Ekpe said.

The expectant father added that “all efforts for them to deliver my wife ended in deaf ears – only one of the nurses advised I take her to Navy Hospital”.

Ekpe who said he had paid and purchased everything the UCTH requested, for the delivery of his wife, had no choice but to rush her to the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Murtala Mohammed Highway, several kilometres away from UCTH, Eta-Agbor, Calabar.

“When we finally arrived at the Navy Hospital, my wife was immediately admitted even before I was given the list of things to get, which is the same as the ones I’ve already paid for at UCTH – Antenatal registration = N15,000, Delivery pack = N20,000, Antenatal investigation = N9,500, and a few other things. Meaning, everything I paid for at the UCTH was in vain,” he said.

The tone of the man’s voice showed he didn’t care for the money but for his wife and child.

At about 3pm when our Reporter established contact with Ekpe, he broke the saddest news one could imagine – that the baby is dead.

“The baby is dead. My wife is fine but the baby is dead”, Paul said with tears.

He added, “The doctors said the baby died in the womb. Yesterday (Monday, July 24), the baby was kicking and even today…”

CONVERSEER reports that the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), an umbrella body for all medical doctors, on July 16 withdrew all services from Federal, State, Private, Mission, and Cottage hospitals over the abduction of their colleague, Dr Ekanem Ephraim, a medical practitioner with the UCTH.

Dr Felix Archibong, NMA Chairman, Cross River State, said the abductors have demanded 15 million naira for the release of Dr Ephraim.

“Where do they expect her to get that kind of money from, at this critical time?

“NMA Cross River is withdrawing medical services so that kidnappers can take over the treatment of sick Cross Riverians,” Archibong said.

In response to the concerns raised by the NMA, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, Deputy Governor of the State assured that the government is fully committed to securing the release of Dr Ephraim from her abductors.

He pleaded for patience and emphasised that security holds a prominent position in the administration’s agenda, as highlighted in the Governor’s inaugural address.

Those present during the NMA’s visit to the Deputy Governor on July 17, include Brig. Gen. E. I. Okoro, Commander of the 13 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, CP Gyogon Grimah, Commissioner of Police, Mr John Sokoya, Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), and Maj. Gen. Okoi Ubi Obono (Rtd), State Security Adviser.

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Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom is an experienced Journalist, Blogger and Writer with several years of experience. His stories are based on community development and have brought positive change across board.

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