By: SUNNY DAVID/ AWKA
A Consultant Pathologist at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka, Anambra State, Dr. Chukwudi Okani has lamented the sudden increase in the number dead bodies being deposited in the hospital’s mortuary.
Our correspondent in the State report that the Pathology’s, who is the Head Department of Pathology in COOUTH, told newsmen on Tuesday in Awka that there was virtually no vacancy in the Teaching Hospital’s mortuary due to the abnormal surge.
Dr. Okani said: “Over the last two months, I have noticed an increase in the rate and number of deaths.
“Many dead bodies are being brought to the mortuary.
“In our mortuary now, there are no spaces left that we can pack dead people.
“Under normal circumstance, the rate at which people deposit dead bodies in the hospital is equal to the rate at which they take them for burial but now the rate at which bodies are being deposited in the mortuary far surpasses the rate of claims.
“Everything is happening within a short time. Just these periods that doctors went on strike.
“They now smuggle bodies in unusual places and that means there is no vacancy any where in our mortuary.
“This type of thing has never happened since I joined this institution.”
He said the problem might not be unconnected to the crisis in the Anambra State health sector where doctors had been embarking on one form of industrial action or the other.
It would be recalled that the Association of Resident Doctors in the state-owned COOUTH have been on indefinite strike since May 13, while the Conference of Civil Service Doctors are presently on a week warning strike.
The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria recently ended its one week warning strike and has threatened to commence indefinite shutdown before the end of June.
He urged the Anambra State Government to take urgent steps to resolve the impasse with doctors and stem the ugly tide as autopsies he performed on some of the dead bodies showed that some of them died of preventable deaths.
The Consultant described the health sector as “very delicate” and that government should not allow breakdown at a point in the service delivery chain, adding that it often resulted in catastrophic end.
“As a Pathologist, the few bodies I did autopsy on showed some of them died preventable deaths.
“There are deaths that are preventable and I think the government and all stakeholders have to act to correct the situation.”
He advised people to endeavour to bury their dead relatives as soon as possible rather than keeping them in the mortuary for a long time on the excuse of bad economy.