The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has revealed the derelict state of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, and the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta.

SERAP revealed this in its 53-page report titled: 'Failing Healthcare: How Federal Hospitals are Letting Down the Poor and Making Healthcare a Privilege Rather Than A Right'.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the not-for-profit organisation posted excerpts of its findings on the state of infrastructure in the hospitals.

It revealed unhygienic conditions, and severe shortages of medical supplies in the hospitals, which contribute to make quality healthcare services difficult for many Nigerians.

SERAP tweeted: “Here are some testimonies on the deteriorating conditions at LUTH, other hospitals. A nurse at LUTH told SERAP, ‘The infant incubator or neonatal incubator is a rigid box-like enclosure in which an infant can be kept in a controlled environment for observation and care.

“Some of the incubators in LUTH are not working. It is either the heater is bad, or the monitoring mechanisms are not working. The incubators available in LUTH have been in use for over 15 years.

“A nurse, who has worked for four years in LUTH spoke to our researchers: ‘Some beds in different wards are too old to still be in use, but LUTH knows how to manage. Some of the available beds have become dilapidated Some beds can cause accidents. They have beds from which patients can fall. It has really happened, and I’ve seen it happen. But they keep managing.

“Another medical staff at LUTH said, ‘Even bed sheets are in short supply. Patients use their wrapper for bed sheets sometimes. And when they use LUTH bed sheets, they are usually old and torn most of the time. 

“Toilets in LUTH are centres of disease distribution. You can be sure to get urinary tract infections and the like. I am referring to the toilets in different wards.’

“According to a senior doctor who spoke to SERAP, ‘There is poor water supply in LUTH and water is supposed to be an essential commodity, especially in a hospital. It’s deplorable to the extent that water does not run in the taps.

“You are seeing LUTH’s flowers and wall paints, but it is rotten inside. I will be right to say things are not working optimally in LUTH.’

“16-year-old Ngozi Eze (not real name), who was diagnosed with stomach obstruction and was referred to LUTH for an urgent surgery to avoid complications, shared his experience with us: ‘When we got to LUTH, we were told there was no bed in the general ward. 

“We were referred to the VIP section and they said I would have to wait for about three weeks before the surgery could be done, because such surgeries are pre-booked; this was despite that my condition was critical.

“At the end of the day, we had no choice but to return to a private hospital where the surgery was eventually done.’

“Another nurse at LUTH said, ‘The facilities are overstretched. To see a specialist on clinic days you have to leave your home by 4am or 5am to be at LUTH by 6.30am to join the queue early. Even at that, there are no guarantees you will be attended to.'”

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