A survivor from Sunday’s accident in which six medical doctors, and a driver from Ekiti State were killed 60 kilometres from Kaduna State, yesterday told Vanguard exclusively on his sick bed in Kaduna how the accident occurred.
He said the doctors would not have died had basic medical care been administered on them after the accident.
He said the incident occurred around where the late Minister of state for Labour and Productivity, James Ocholi and his family perished in an accident on March 6, 2006.
Those who lost their lives in the accident were: Dr Tunde Aladesanmi of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti, FETHI; Dr Ojo Taiwo, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital,, EKSUTH; NMA Secretary, Dr Akinyele Alex; Dr J. Ogunseye of the Health Management Board; President, EKSUTH Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Dr Olajide, Dr Adeniyi James of the FETHI and a driver identified as Mr. Ajibola.
Decrying the poor state of Doka Hospital, Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central), who visited some of the injured doctors at St. Gerard Catholic Hospital, Kakuri, Kaduna called on the Federal Government to assist the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, with enough rescue facilities.
At least four of the medical doctors, who survived the accident while travelling to attend a National Delegate Conference of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, in Sokoto were at present receiving medical attention at the St. Gerard Catholic Medical Hospital, Kakuri.
One of the survivors, Dr. Stephen Ayosanmi of EKSUTH, spoke on his hospital bed exclusively to Vanguard on the accident.
How it happened
Ayosanmi said: “I am one of the delegates for the National NMA Conference taking place in Sokoto. On our way, we decided to follow through Kaduna and stop so that we would continue our journey to the conference the following day. We were about 60km to Kaduna when the accident happened. We were in a bus that seats between 15 and 16 person. But we were 13 in the bus, including the driver. Aside the driver, we were all doctors. This was on Sunday, April 24. As we were approaching Kaduna, suddenly a tire burst. The bus somersaulted. This was around 4:45pm.”
Continuing, he said “When the accident happened, some of us came out and people came and tried to help in the rescue effort. I came and I found out that I did not have any fracture or serious injury. By the time the members of the Road Safety Corps came, some doctors that were severely injured had died. Five of them! But, we have two who could still survive. So we rushed them to the nearby hospital (Doka General Hospital, about 70 km to Kaduna).
“At the hospital, I was surprised when they said that there was no doctor there. I was even telling the nurses, ‘ok give me a pain reliever and let me put you through on how to resuscitate that man that was lying near me. But none of them attended to us. They were just running around, saying there was no this, no that. They were running around looking for this and that.
Then I pleaded with the Road Safety to take us to the nearest hospital away from the one we were. I said they should take us to Suleja, Kaduna, wherever, but the Road Safety said that they didn’t even have fuel. I told them that it was ok, that I would pay for fuel. So we left the place in search for fuel and bought the fuel on the road. But, before we got to the hospital (St. Gerard, Kaduna) the other person had died. That made the number of deaths six. The other very injured person, who was in the other bus also died, making the casualty seven”, he said.
Ekiti hospitals grounded, staff Protest
Meanwhile, activities in all the major Health institutions in Ekiti State, were paralysed yesterday by the death of six doctors involved in a ghastly motor accident along Kaduna road on Sunday.
The hospitals affected by the sad development included, Federal Teaching Hospital , Ido Ekiti (FETHI), the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) and other general hospitals.
In a reaction to the sad development, doctors, nurses and other staff of FETHI trooped out as early as 7am, locked the main gate of the hospital in protest, a situation which caused serious panic to the patients and intending visitors.
The placard-carrying protesters expressed grief over the death of three doctors in FETHI out of those that lost their lives, saying they suspected that their death was diabolical and beyond human imagination.
When newsmen visited EKSUTH in Ado Ekiti, the staff were seen in clusters discussing the situation, while few colleagues of the deceased, were at hand to render medical services to patients on admission.
Speaking on the incident, the FETHI’s Chief Medical Director , Dr Lawrence Ayodele , described the death as a national disaster, saying ‘’It is not about the state, but the whole country because it involves six senior doctors and a driver.”
Ekiti govt declares 3 days mourning
Meantime, Governor Ayodele Fayose has described the death of the doctors and one driver in the State, as a monumental loss not only to the people of Ekiti State but to Nigerians, declaring three days of mourning from Monday to Wednesday.
The governor, who directed that all flags should be flown at half-mast, described the death as an eclipse of professional and intellectual figures, who lost their lives in active service to mankind, saying; “Ekiti has lost some of the best trees in its forest of medicine. I am deeply sad. This is one loss too many.”
NMA declares 7 days mourning
Also, the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday declared one week of mourning from April 26 to May 3
NMA in a statement by its National Organizing Committee of the Conference directed all doctors to put on black band on the left arm over white overall while during the conference.
The statement by NMA President, Dr. Kayode Obembe and Secretary General, Dr. Adewunmi Alayaki, equally released the names of the doctors including the driver.
Reacting, Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, described the incident as a tragic loss to the Nigerian Medical community.
In a message to leadership of NMA over the loss of the doctors, he said “Our prayers is that Almighty God in his infinite mercy will give the family, friends and the entire members of NMA the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. I am using this medium thank the leadership of the NMA especially those at the scene of accident in Kaduna.”