The Lagos State Chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) on Wednesday declared an indefinite strike over the death of their colleague, Dr. Diaso Vwaere, a medical house officer, in a faulty elevator at the General Hospital on Lagos Island.
NMA’s action is coming a few hours after house officers at the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island, on Wednesday embarked on a protest over Dr. Vwaere’s death.
Persecondnews gathered that Dr. Vwaere was preparing for the completion of her housemanship two weeks before the tragic incident happened.
Vwaere was reported to have died on Tuesday, August 1, as a result of the injuries she sustained while trapped in an elevator at the Lagos General Hospital for more than 40 minutes, after it crashed from the 10th floor to the ground.
In a statement signed by the NMA Lagos State Chapter’s Chairman and Secretary, Dr. Benjamin Olowojebutu and Dr Ismail Ajibowo, respectively, the association also declared a five-day statewide mourning over Vwaere’s death.
The association called on all doctors in the three State Hospitals to commence indefinite strike, while demanding an investigation into the incident and justice for their deceased colleague.
It said: “The NMA Lagos State received with rude shock the death of one of our members, Dr Diaso Vwaere, a medical house officer, whose death occurred as a result of injuries sustained when the elevator she was in crashed.
“This is heartbreaking, heart-wrenching and quite unfortunate. We commiserate with her immediate family, her colleagues on the island, Medical Guild, and all body of doctors in Lagos State.
“Information we got was that she was trapped in the elevator for more than 40mins before she was rescued.
“We were also reliably informed that there was no blood available for resuscitation, and this has become a recurring issue as a result of the review made by government on the previous policy on blood donation.
“To us, this was an avoidable death and it’s unfortunate that it was allowed to happen.
“We are pained and we are mourning. We are well aware that this same elevator has been a source of problem for many years during which several complaints have been made to all relevant agencies with no respite.
“It is very painful that at a time when the country is battling with unprecedented brain drain, a young colleague that would have been expected to attend to 6000 Nigerians was allowed to die a needless death.
“As a result of this, NMA Lagos State is hereby making the following
pronouncements: We declare a 5 day statewide mourning period; That we demand an immediate, unbiased investigation into the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident;
That all those found culpable in this matter, especially the General Manager of the Lagos State Infrastructure Management Agency, Ms Adenike Adekambi, are all brought to Justice.
“We direct all our doctors in the three government hospitals on the island (GH Lagos, LIMH, and MSCH) to commence indefinite strike action until the investigations are completed and justice served.
” We immediately direct our doctors in all the other government hospitals to scale down activities as a mark of respect for our dead colleague. Only emergency services should be rendered for the next 5 days.
“That the government should as a matter of urgency commence the complete overhaul of the house officers quarters on the island; That all other infrastructures in all our government hospitals that need repairs should be urgently attended to. That the blood transfusion system in Lagos State needs immediate revamping for improved services.
“As a result of this sad incident, the State Officers Committee of the Nigerian Medical Association Lagos State has decided that the upcoming Annual General Meeting will be a low key event as a mark of respect to our colleague.
“We appeal to our colleagues to remain calm as MA Lagos State leadership is on top of the situation and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that justice is not just served but seen to have been served.”
The NMA prayed for the repose of the soul of the departed colleague and for God to give the family and the association the fortitude to bear the irreparable and unfortunate loss.