Quarantined Ebola isolation patients at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Yaba, Lagos, are subjects of concern today for family and friends, who claim that the center's conditions are discouraging.
In a report published by PUNCH today, families and associates spoke of the squalor and neglect the admitted are undergoing at a press conference today in Ikoyi.
Dr. Helen Boyo-Ekwueme, a pathologist, described the utter neglect the quarantined (one a member of her family) are dealing with. “They are just being left on their own. Nobody is counselling them. They are just there as if they have been forgotten. We should remember that they didn’t ask to contract Ebola and it can happen to anybody," she said.
Dismissing blame placed on the government, she asserted that the press conference was not designed to criticize the government more so than to raise awareness about the conditions. "We are simply giving voice to the voiceless. Those people in isolation at the IDH cannot voice out these concerns," she said. "Let them have basic treatment. It shouldn’t be as if we just stood there and abandon them and watch them die one by one."
A spokesman for the group, medical practioner Dr. Ladi Okuboyejo, furthered these claims, and criticized medical staff who abandoned their duties despite the disaster.
“If a health facility doesn’t have light, doesn’t have water and the sanitary system is not working properly then we have got a problem. Now the patients are critically ill and their condition is getting worse by day. People, including some medical personnel, are now running away from them. The disease is beyond our capacity to handle in this country," he urged.
Shocking claims were also made concerning the purchase of medical equipment at the facility. Due to the medical strike and lacking aid, an American doctor had been personally footing the bill, a family member alleged. “Where is the $12m the Federal Government said it released to fight Ebola?" the family member challenged.
More say the lack of experienced medical staff and basic immune boosters make matters far worse at the IDH. “There is a need for more medical personnel that will help look after them. Certain immune booster could also have been easily given to them. We are just concerned family members. But from what we have seen we think more can be done to help them,” another source said.
When contacted by PUNCH, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, was unavailable for comment.