High casualties as AKTH rejects patients over limited bed spaces

Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital

• Health minister seeks adequate investment in cancer care

Scores of patients die daily at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano due to lack adequate bed spaces to accommodate emergency cases and other classes of patients. 

The Guardian learnt that patients seeking urgent medical attention are either rejected at the Accident and Emergency Unit, or their family members agree to the sick being admitted on the bare floor.

In some cases, family members of the patients are compelled to standing all night to assist in administering drips on the patient or stay at the emergency unit for several days depending on how serious their cases may be.  

Sources at the teaching hospital revealed that patients at emergency wards die daily after several hours of waiting for the discharge of other patients.The hospital was originally designed to accommodate 400 bed spaces but now has 600 beds.

A resident medical officer at the hospital pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that doctors in the hospital were over stretched due to the high number of patients.

He said the high demand for bed space and failure of the hospital to proper fumigate the premises could result to epidemic.Narrating his experience to The Guardian, Aliyu Hassan who lost an uncle at the hospital’s emergency unit lamented that he stood all night with his uncle as he struggled with his condition on the bare floor because there were no bed space.

Another victim, Abubakar Isa, accused the doctors of negligence, saying his father was rejected since there was no bed space to admit him. He insisted that the doctors would have saved his life if they had attended to him on the bare floor.

However, the hospital’s deputy director, Public Affairs, Aminu Inuwa, said the situation was beyond the management’s capacity.Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said investment in cancer care should be prioritised in the country.

He said with about 40 per cent of cancer cases curable, there was need for Nigeria to tap into the possibilities and invest in capacity building to reduce the scourge of the disease.

Adewole, who disclosed this at a Cancer Symposium organised by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, said he monitored the database of copses brought into the country and found that 50 per cent of the deaths were caused by cancer.

He added that cancer, which remains the leading cause of death globally, can be prevented and cured through investments in facility and capacity building by all stakeholders, insisting that the onus lies on all Nigerians.

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