#JusticeForChisomAnekwe: Why You Need to Join the Campaign

I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline and happened on this story by Milly Milly. This is Chisom Anekwe (nee Okereke), a young, vivacious, graceful, kind-hearted and intelligent woman who had devoted her life to helping indigent kids and giving their lives a meaning. She’s an alumna of LEAP Africa. Two weeks ago, precisely April 30th 2017, Chisom died under questionable circumstances at Magodo Specialist Hospital while trying to birth her third offspring. We believe strongly that the authorities need to ensure that lives are taken sacred in hospitals like Magodo Specialist Hospital where such avoidable deaths are recorded. Chisom was admitted in the hospital four days before she got into labour. She had previously been diagnosed of high blood pressure during the course of the pregnancy. She already had two beautiful daughters birthed in the same hospital and was there to birth her third child, a son. While at the hospital, no one attended to her when she needed the help to be delivered of the long awaited baby. She was left for hours in labour. This happened until her husband created a scene, which eventually caused the doctors to go to her ward and on inspection they found out that the baby had struggled and died. The husband at this point requested for a CS which he paid for and even signed the consent form presented by the hospital. He was then tricked out of the room to go prepare for blood transfusion and on getting back, he found out that the doctors had induced the wife and delivered the dead baby without operation not minding that the CS procedure had been paid for. This was also without his consent. During the process of delivering the baby, the uterus got ruptured and the doctors left her like that, no further attendance still. Shortly after, the husband noticed she was swelling up in her stomach area and called the attention of the doctors who said they were getting ready for a surgery, a preparation that took longer than usual. After waiting in vain for the surgical team, the frustrated husband went furiously to the reception to demand why they were wasting time only to discover the doctor had sneaked out of the hospital under funny pretences. At this point he got other hospital staff to wheel her out of the hospital and in that process Chisom died! This is the story of most young women who die while giving birth as a result of the callousness, ignorance and carelessness of inexperienced doctors. In this era, we shouldn’t be talking about Child and Maternal Mortality especially when it can be avoided. This could have been avoided but it wasn’t and now Chisom Jane Anekwe is a victim and has been added to the statistics. We demand; 1. That Magodo Specialist Hospital, Shangisha, Lagos, be investigated for their actions and the subsequent death of Chisom. 2. That both the Nigerian Medical Association NMA and the Medical and Dentist Council of Nigeria, MDCN ensure that supposed Specialist Hospitals who claim to have a resident Gynecologist are verified. 3. That there be justice for Chisom Okereke Anekwe! #SaveTheNextVICTIM #Justice4Chisom #Fight4OurDaughters Cc: Ihunegbo Ikechukwu Moses This hurt me so bad when I read it. There are lot of questions that ran through my head while reading. Questions like;            1.      Why no one attended to a woman who had pregnancy induced high blood pressure? If she was admitted four days before she went into labor, didn’t that mean her impending birth was high risk?;            2.      Why the husband had to cause a scene before the Magodo Specialist hospital staff deemed it fit to do their jobs?;           3.      Was the negligence the cause of the baby’s death? If so, shouldn’t the hospital be brought to book for TWO deaths?;           4.      If the request for a caesarean section by the husband was considered unnecessary or out of his area of expertise, why did the doctor acquiesce and have the hospital collect his money?;            5.      Is uterine rupture a real thing? The answer is yes! So if that happened to Chisom, why was she left unattended?;            6.      Why did the doctor run if he done his job as ethically and professionally as he should have? While I am cautious about calling out and blaming doctors, especially because I don’t know what extenuating circumstances precede their decisions, I think this doctor and the staff on duty were negligent on many grounds. This story is not unusual as many of our hospitals – public and private – are hubs of pain infliction instead of the other way round. Our doctors are overworked and tired, nurses are apathetic and in many cases, downright cruel, and other staff seem immune to the suffering of the sick. A life was lost because we run systems that allow incompetence, negligence and apathy for people’s suffering. Chisom is dead as a result of this failing system but we can prevent the next case of death-by-malfeasance. There is a campaign going to now seeking justice for Chisom and we can be a part of it. Join the campaign hereand help prevent another senseless death of that mother, sister, wife, cousin, aunt, niece, friend, colleague or neighbor. We pray that Chisom’s family finds strength in this trying time. And beyond that, what needs to be done to improve our health sector so there isn’t a continued waste of Nigerian lives?

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