NYSC morns as Lasser fever kills Kaduna ‘copper’
His death was a big shock – Family
By Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Like every other Nigerian graduate who schooled either within or outside the country, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is one thing they all want to participate-in, due to several reasons though, Kelechi’s was not different.
Born in Gweledoha village in Amagu Ikwo Local Government area of Ebonyi State on September 1st, 1985 to the family of Elder and Mrs. Ogboji Orichi Philip, the young Ogboji Kelechi Aaron, was deployed to Kaduna State after meeting the requirement for national service.
He must have been very happy when his name was shotlisted for participation in national service. Kelechi would have probably delayed his one-year-mandatory-service to his motherland if he had foreseen the danger lied ahead of him towards the end of the programme.
After the 21-day orientation exercise at Black Gold camp, Km 16, Abuja-Kaduna highway, he was posted to St. Louis Hospital, Zonkwa in Zango Kataf local government area of the State to offer medical service to the people of the area.
Expressing grief over the death of the patriotic, selfless and heroic corps doctor, Kaduna State Coordinator of NYSC, Mohammed Momoh, described the death of Kelechi, who was among four persons that died as a result of Lasser fever in Kaduna recently, as unfortunate and big loss to the scheme.
The 30-year-old Kelechi, who was a Medicine graduate from Ebonyi State University, was said to have been attending to one of his patients, a pregnant woman, earlier suspected to be suffering from ordinary malaria alongside a nurse, both of whom later died. Dr. Kelechi died on 20th February, 2016 but was made public on Monday 29th February, 2016 after the autopsy results showed that his death resulted from Lasser fever.
The Coordinator added that he had already discussed with the commissioner of health in the state to as matter of urgency, trace all corps members who may hay visited the deceased while he was hospitalized.
“It is true that we have lost a corps doctor. I have met with the commissioner of health in the state even before now. We were planning a sensitization workshop on Lasser fever not knowing that one of our corps doctors will fall victim. It was quite unfortunate.
“NYSC also expected that search be extended to corps members living with the deceased, most significantly those who had came around him while he was sick. The commissioner agreed to do that.
“The commissioner told us that they have first-class quarantine facilities in the state since it could be managed. We were made to understand that the fever is treatable if detected early enough for the treatment to be effective.
“Kelechi contacted the fever during duty. He was one of medical personnel that first attended to the woman,” he added soberly.
It was reliably gathered that had Kelechi been properly diagnosed when he fell sick, he would have probably treated of Lasser fever since the state claimed to have having first class quarantine facilities. This is a clear indication that a lot of hospital in Nigeria are ‘dead trap’.
When contacted through his mobile phone obtained from his NYSC file, the immediate elder brother to the deceased, Wilfred Emeka Ogboji, blamed the death of his brother on failure of government to provide adequate professionals in hospitals.
According to him, “if there are hospital where emergency cases like lasser fever can be treated in Kaduna, my brother wouldn’t have died.
Emeka accused St. Louis Hospital of negligence and incompetence.
“My brother died of Lassa fever because after his death they had to take him to Jos University Teaching Hospital where they said they were going to conduct an autopsy but along the line they collected his saliva, blood and urine which they used to confirm that it was a case of Lassa Fever.
“I am in pain and in deep sorrow because it is a very deep loss to us and our father too has been sick for a very long time. He has diabetes and I pray that God will strengthen him for me.
“We are not comfortable with his death and the way he was handled in his place of primary assignment where he served because I was made to understand that my brother was sick for about two weeks. They dumped him in the hospital and they were busy treating him with malaria.
“I believe that if they had taken him to a better hospital he would not have died.
“Why didn’t they take his samples and conduct a test as the malaria drug they were giving him was not working.
“We are calling for an inquiry by NYSC into how he died. They should go to where he served at Louis Edet Hospital in Zonkwa and confirm how he was treated to find out how he died
“As such, he had paid the supreme price in the course of his service to his motherland and I think he should be immortalized as an hero because that was who he was,” he stressed.
Dr. Kelechi was survived by aged father and six siblings.
Posted from GoBroadsheet