By Garba M. Muhammad

The Management of Federal Medical Centre Keffi has reacted to the story earlier published by Health Monitor, one of the titles in Education Monitor Newspaper, in which  children of a certain female patient, whose name was withheld, alleged that some medical personnel  in the Medical Centre attempted to persuade their sibling, who was looking after their sick mother at the hospital, to allow her be declared COVID-19 Positive, in return for a monetary benefit out of the COVID-19 funds that were expected to be disbursed to hospitals, by the Federal Government and International donors, treating Victims of the dreaded pandemic.


Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Dr Yahya Baba Adamu, in a meeting he presided over in his Office, over the week, and which  was exclusively attended by some top policy and decision makers of the Centre on one hand, and representative of the Health Monitor Newspaper on the other; angrily reacted to the report which he said must have been concocted or distorted and released to the newspaper by professional petition writers who are  pathological enemies of progress that have never been happy with anything good happening in the hospital, particularly with the pacesetting, unparalleled and celebrated achievements that have so far been recorded in the hospital within the short period of his stewardship as its Chief Executive Officer and Administrative Head.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Hon. Minister of Health

In his attempt to clear the air on the story, the Medical Director said he could remember that two incidences occurred at the Medical Centre, sometimes ago, that were somehow but not exactly similar to the one reported by Health Monitor.


One of the incidences he recounted was the one that involved a COVID-19 female patient who was, incidentally, a Nurse, that was brought to the Centre from Lafia, the state Capital, for treatment, but, unfortunately later succumbed to the pandemic.


After she passed on, Dr Adamu recounted, I, in line with the protocol of handling the remains of COVID-19 Victims, instructed that the corpse should not be released immediately to her relatives until all that was needed to be done in line with global protocol on such cases, was concluded.


After painstakingly explaining to them the implications of allowing them take the corpse to Lafia, without proper protection, and expressing our fears to them about the possibility of some of them becoming infected, relatives of the deceased still insisted that the Corpse must be released to them for burial.


On realizing that we stood our grounds, they threatened to take any measure, including violence, to retrieve the Corpse from the hospital.


“When it dawned on us that they started mobilising mobs to the hospital to forcefully retrieve the corpse, we swiftly reached out to the police and pleaded with them to come and stop them from any attempt to cause unrest in the hospital, in the course of using force to carry the corpse, and to also protect lives and property of all and sundry”, Dr Adamu stated, revealing that, “despite the heavily armed presence of the police, these people forcefully took the corpse away. But thank God, the police exercised maximum restraint and high level of civility when they realized that the corpse’s relatives were ready for serious show down, which had the potentials of causing bloodshed.”


“If the police had actually attempted to stop them at all cost, those youths would have caused mayhem in the hospital and which could have resulted in only God knows degree of consequences” Dr Adamu reiterated.


The second incidence, according to the Medical Director, was the one involving an elderly man that was brought to the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital sometimes ago, and was suspected to be positive because he had all the primary symptoms of COVID-19. So, we told his relatives that we were moving him out of the A and E, to a place where patients with such symptoms are usually kept for proper investigations, but, they too, objected, and threatened to also take him back home by force, if we insisted on taking him out of the A & E Ward.


They eventually made good their threat by forcefully taking him out of the Centre to a destination, unknown to us.

Dr Adamu recounted that these twin incidences were the ones that he could remember that were close to the allegations made in the Health Monitor Newspaper.


“So, to therefore say that the hospital is Conniving with anybody to declare other Patients as COVID-19 Positive, with the view of getting money from government or any international body, is the peak of irresponsibility”, the Managing Director regretted.


He wondered why should a hospital which has had to close some departments and put them under lock and key, because its staff tested positive for the dreaded pandemic, in order to effectively battle it to save their lives and that of other patients, will stupidly resort to recruiting innocent and ordinary patients to declare them COVID-19 positive. “This is too big a lie to believe by any right thinking person”, he opined.


The MD however adviced the Health Monitor to always feel free to approach him or any official of the hospital to clarify any issue or allegations to avoid messing the hospital up and destroying its hard earned reputation.

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