A Nigerian identified as Emmanuel Okoli has died due to the unavailability of oxygen cylinders at the Federal Medical Centre at Idi-Aba in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State, SaharaReporters has learnt.
A relative, who spoke with our correspondent, revealed that the deceased was gasping for breath barely 24 hours after he was admitted at the hospital.
The family member lamented that the man died because there was no oxygen cylinder to keep him alive.
“The oxygen finished. The nurses noticed but they couldn’t do anything to save him," he said. "They said there was no oxygen on ground. He was gasping for air till he died."
Moved to tears by the death of Okoli, the family member lamented the deplorable state of government-owned health centres in the country.
“He still would have been alive but the Federal Medical Centre didn’t have enough oxygen to keep him alive. It’s almost a crime to be sick in this country," he said.
A nurse at the Federal Medical Centre admitted that Okoli died due to the fault of the hospital, noting that the hospital usually finds itself in such situations and staff on duty have had to resort to attending to patients, depending on how critical the medical situation is.
When SaharaReporters visited the Federal Medical Centre a day after the the incident that led to Okoli's death, one of the workers at the hospital affirmed that the hospital lacked the necessary facilities.
In a short interaction with a SaharaReporters correspondent who embarked on an undercover visit to the hospital, the nurse, pleaded with our correspondent to appeal to the government to provide needed facilities in the hospital.
“Help us talk to the Federal Government," she begged. "There should be a central oxygen source as we’re not supposed to be moving around with cylinder."
"Is that how oxygen finishes around here?" SaharaReporters asked.
"Yes it finished," she said. "But I have checked; there’s really no emergency or whatever.
The nurse also confirmed the death of the patience, saying: "Yes, we lost a patient yesterday. The oxygen finished but once they check the oxygen circulation, if it’s not dropping or something (even if the worse comes to worst), when we look at the patient with the most critical condition, he/she gets the oxygen cylinder. Help us talk to the Federal Government. There should be a central oxygen source and we’re not supposed to be moving around with the cylinder. We're supposed to just have a tube and get oxygen from a central source."
Reminded that the patient could still have been alive was there oxygen, the nurse said: "God has written it [that he’ll die].