Unidentified Man Dies As Fuel Strike, Power Outage Ground Lagos | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Unidentified Man Dies As Fuel Strike, Power Outage Ground Lagos

Posted: May 27, 2015 at 12:56 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Yinka Shokunbi  –  Lagos


Residents of Wilmer Street, Iseri-Oke in the Ikosi-Iseri Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, woke up on Sunday May 24 to the sight an unidentified man who had slumped and laid unconscious for most of the day.

•The unidentified man being attended  by the Lagos State Ambulance Service.         Photo: Yinka Shokunbi

•The unidentified man being attended by the Lagos State Ambulance Service. Photo: Yinka Shokunbi

An eye witness told Daily Independent that the unidentified, suspected to be a cattle rarer and whose destination was unknown had slumped from exhaustion after trekking a long distance during the heavy downpour of the night.

“When we woke up in the morning after the heavy downpour, we found the man on the street and reported at the nearby Iseri Divisional Police Station at Awosika; some Policemen came with their patrol van to see the man but told us to call 112 because it was not within their jurisdiction to pick him up to the hospital”, said a resident of the Street who simply identified himself as ‘Alhaji’.

Our correspondent then had to put a call through to the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS) on 767 to alert on the emergency situation; but for about one and a half hours, the response remained the same from the control room that the ambulance was coming and would soon be at the scene.

When it was obvious the ambulance was taking too long, the State Commissioner for Information, Lateef Ibirogba and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Omodele Osunkiyesi were contacted to intervene and help save the man’s life.

The ambulance with registration number LA 158 A08 later arrived some thirty minutes amidst jeers of the milling crowd who felt the response time was too long to save a dying man.

However, before its arrival, the permanent secretary, Dr Osunkiyesi had called back to explain that the delay was as a result of a more urgent response to an accident which had occurred along the Lagos end of the Ibadan Expressway in which the victims were rescued to the nearby Accident and Emergency Centre at the toll gate.

But on its arrival and in trying to justify the delay in responding to the distress call, our Correspondent was informed that on that day, only one state ambulance was functioning due to the lingering fuel scarcity.

According to the medical responders in the ambulance, they had been overwhelmed by numerous calls from the control room to attend to emergency situations around the city “unfortunately, we could only do as much because this is the only ambulance working today”.

Unfortunately, by the time the unidentified man was moved into the ambulance and put on Oxygen and intravenous fluid, he gave up the struggle and died.

In-patients at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idiaraba and some other public hospitals such as Ikorodu General Hospital, Orile-Agege General Hospital and Somolu General Hospital were not left out of the pains and agony caused by the fuel scarcity that has lingered for over two weeks.

While still awaiting the arrival of the ambulance, some members of a Pentecostal Church, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) located on the Street were seen administering

Daily Independent investigations show that most of the wards in the hospitals were in darkness while only emergency surgical deliveries were undertaken at the Theatres.

When our Correspondent contacted the Acting Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Professor Chris Bode, he declined to comment on the situation of the hospital saying, calls from our Correspondent was intruding into his official work .

Official response from the office of the Public Relations however confirmed that only the intensive care unit has been supplied electricity for patients on life supporting machines while only emergency deliveries are undertaken “due to non-availability of diesel to power our generators”, explained Mrs. Hope Nwawolo.

Apart from the patient wards in the hospitals investigated, essential services in the medical laboratories were distrusted and affected by power outage and lack of diesel to power the stand-by generators.

The few public hospitals which were not affected by the fuel scarcity were Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), General Hospital, Lagos and Island Maternity because they have been connected to get their power supply through the Independent Power Project of Lagos State.