of Ngozi Uchebuego, a land surveyor, is still enveloped by the gloomy
atmosphere of bereavement, six months after his wife, who he married
barely one year ago died at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Delta
State after undergoing Caesarean section, to deliver a set of twins.
native of Mbaise, Imo State, at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)
orientation camp at Issele-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area of
Delta State when he went there to preach to Christian corps members, as a
part time evangelist.
June 11, 2016, they wedded in church at the House on the Rock Assembly
church in Asaba, the state capital.
pregnant. Their joy was doubled when ultrasound scan showed that the
couple would be blessed with twins. They were naturally ecstatic and
looked forward to the birth of the two bundles of joy with excitement.
marriage, however, took a terrible turn when the day of delivery arrived
in March this year with a heart wrenching twist.
pass, Uchebuego said that as soon as it was confirmed that the wife was
pregnant, she registered for antenatal care at the Federal Medical
Centre and was issued a card with card number FMCP/0270822 and assigned
to a particular doctor (codenamed Dr. Uwa) and she commenced attending
antenatal care. But not long after, the hospital staff went on strike.
This forced the couple to register at a private hospital (name withheld)
run by a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, (codenamed Dr Ukor)
who works at the FMC-Asaba. Rita continued to attend antenatal care at
the private hospital while the strike lasted. When strike was called
off, she resumed regular attendance for antenatal care at FMC.
assigned to manage her case indicated that she was short on blood.
Later, the doctor estimated her expected date of delivery (EDD) to be
March 19, 2017.
for antenatal care, her blood pressure was found to be 160/100mmHg. This
prompted Dr. Uwa to immediately admit her for close monitoring.
Consequently, Uchebuego said he paid N10,000 as deposit for the
on that day before leaving the hospital with the intention of returning
in the morning,” he said.
shocked to find the wife in excruciating pain. Upon inquiry, he learnt
that the doctor decided to induce labour.
futile as he learnt that he was not within the vicinity of the hospital.
Uchebuego said that he was deeply worried by the development, given
that the EDD was still two weeks away. But the nurses assured him that
the wife would soon give birth.
the ordeal his wife passed through before she died: “Upon this assurance
and the presence of my wife’s mother at the hospital, I quickly rushed
out to deliver some survey plans to my clients. As soon as I was done I
came back to the hospital about 6:00pm. By this time, my wife could no
longer get up from the bed and the pains had increased even as she
informed me that she was induced a second time, still without my consent
or permission obtained.
follow acceptable professional medical practice. He gave scant regard to
the life of my wife. I am completely unable to understand how Uwa could
take a decision to induce a woman who was pregnant with twins, whose
EDD had not arrived or even passed and then disappear into thin air as
he was not around to monitor my wife’s condition following the
inducement. “The next day, I met my wife at the labour ward where she
was being forced to push and when this yielded no positive result as she
was already tired, my wife was suddenly booked for an emergency
caesarean section after suffering from two failed unauthorized
section, I was asked to provide an extra pint of blood and I quickly put
calls across to the laboratory and the blood was made available
immediately. The nurses were preparing my wife to be rolled to the
theatre for emergency Caesarean delivery.
and I read and signed, but more than an hour after I signed the
document, nothing was done to my wife, who at this stage was groaning in
pains. The nurses and another doctor (codenamed Dr. Longus) were joking
and laughing aloud, even as my wife was writhing in agony on the
the consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr. Ukor, who was
supposed to perform the surgery was not within the hospital premises.
passionately pleaded with him to come. He did not show up. Fortunately,
about 12:00 noon, another doctor, Dr. Adigba, who I can say was like an
angel sent by God, took my wife into the theatre for the operation. I
donated another pint of blood, making it two pints of blood available to
the hospital for my wife.
twin beautiful baby girls came out from the theatre. The surgery ended
about 2:00pm when my wife was wheeled out from the theatre to the O
&G (obstetrics and gynaecology) ward with a pint of blood connected
to her body through her hand.
till 5.00pm when a nurse called me to go get some drugs to be given to
my twins on the instruction of the doctor at the neo-natal department,
so I left my wife in the O & G ward.
back to the O & G ward about 6:30pm and saw that the blood
transfusion tube had been disconnected from my wife and a large part of
it was still remaining whilst she was wide awake at this point in time. I
asked her why the blood was disconnected, she did not know why, so I
asked the nurse on duty, but her response was cold silence.
started shouting to see the person in charge but the nurse said I should
go out of the ward claiming that I was disturbing the other patients. After
disturbing them for about three hours, the nurse removed the half pint
of blood and said I should go to the laboratory and ask them why the
blood was disconnected.
laboratory with the blood where I met one Mr. Moses for the test/cross
examination which took about 45 minutes. A lab test result was given to
me with the half pint of blood with an instruction that the blood should
be reconnected. On getting back to the O & G ward, I gave the nurse
(codenamed Obi) the half pint of blood together with the laboratory
result and the oral instruction that it should be reconnected but she
just dropped it on her table, sat back and she took no action.
the blood into my wife. I was left worried, anxious and perplexed.
However, I adamantly remained with my wife at the O & G ward till
about 2:00am on March 9, 2017 before leaving her in the care of my
but about two hours and fifty two minutes later, my wife called me at
4:52am to come and help her adjust the oxygen fixed on her as it was not
properly done thereby causing her great discomfort.
to Obi who did nothing about it. In the twinkle of an eye, I quickly
wore my clothes and rushed down to the hospital, arriving there about
5:05am where I met my wife struggling with the oxygen fixed on her and
tearfully beckoning on me to come and assist her.
how to fix it, so I shouted for help. The Obi shouted back at me and
said, “Are you not the husband? Go and bring blood.” I told her that the
half pint of blood was still unused, and that my wife was complaining
about oxygen, but she insisted that I should pay and bring receipt
before they can transfuse the blood.
point of the laboratory, contrary to the fact that we had been told at
the time of registration for antenatal that we should donate blood, and
we fully complied by donating a pint of blood in advance. Within seven
to ten minutes, I got back to the ward with the receipt only to see that
the other nurses had surrounded my wife’s bed and the doctor (codenamed
Dr Orie) was crying.
was seeing. I presented the receipt so that the blood could be
transfused, but Obi who had all along been uncaring simply said: “You
see am now, you see am now.” I didn’t understand what she meant.
Meanwhile one of the other nurses was making a call to somebody and
saying that the patient had finally given up.
me that my wife had been murdered in cold blood. Then I quickly ran to
the Dr. Orie, to inquire from him why they refused to transfuse the
blood despite the critical state of my wife having given birth to twins
through caesarean operation? And he exclaimed ‘Bottlenecks!
Bottlenecks!’ I started praying for my wife as I could not believe that
she was dead.”
questionable circumstances, a crack team of lawyers from Reuben Izeze
and Partners have intervened on a pro bono basis with a view to ensuring
that Uchebuego gets justice.
receiving attention at the House of Representatives through its
Committee on Public Petitions. The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria
(MDCN) has forwarded the same petition to its investigating panel where
it is receiving attention.
to the Federal Ministry of Health, Senate Committee on Health, Federal
Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
all the healthcare personnel involved in the death of his wife be
brought to book. “There should be a complete overhaul of the obviously
incompetent administration of FMC, Asaba, which has led to the death of
many expectant mothers in recent times as well as the numerous number of
babies that die at the hands of their doctors.”
Emmanuel said though investigations were ongoing, it was clear that the
hospital’s negligence and willful act resulted in the death of the
the internal panel constituted to investigate the matter, saying that
it was filled with contradictions.
Victor Osiatuma, who confirmed the death of Uchebuego’s wife at FMC,
Asaba, however, denied negligence on the part of his medical personnel,
saying that the deceased had the privilege of being attended to by the
best doctors at the hospital.
Uchebuego, stating that inducement is done without the consent of the
husband. He added that it is only in the case of Caesarian section that
the husband’s consent would be sought.
receiving attention at the appropriate quarters and urged the widower to
be patient for the outcome of the investigation, adding that any
personnel found to be culpable would be sanctioned accordingly.
Prof. Fasuba of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital and Dr.
Ande of University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) is to investigate
the death of Rita. The report of the internal panel has been submitted
and the result of the investigation would soon be released.
National Assembly and MDCN are aware of this matter, which started
since March. I have appealed to him (widower) to be patient and wait for
the outcome of investigations, and if anyone is found guilty, he will
be sanctioned,” he said.