Forty-two-year-old Mr.Joseph Onome, widower of 32-year-old pregnant mother of two, Elo Joseph, nee Oyoro, who died, Sunday, November 25, 2012, following alleged by specialists, at the government-owned General Hospital, who traveled for weekend, has slammed a N100 million suit against the Delta State Hospitals Management Board.
The sum is for damages suffered by the claimant, because of the negligence of the defendants and doctors and nurses under their supervision and employment at the maternity/obstetric ward, both at the General Hospital, Otu-Jeremi and at the Central Hospital, Ughelli.
He said it was the negligence of the defendants that resulted in a stillbirth and the death of his wife. Joined in the suit before the High Court of Justice, Otor Udu is the Medical Director, Central Hospital, Ughelli, Dr. Nwabua, Mmedical Officer, General Hospital, Otu Jeremi, Dr. Tuoyo Eda, Dr. Mike and Attorney General of the state.
Onome is seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that the negligence of the medical personnel in the hospitals, which resulted in a stillbirth and the death of his wife, was a wrongful act. The Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, FJHD, a human rights advocacy group, led by Ogheneabor Ikimi, is spearheading his legal battle.
In an affidavit in support of his claim, the widower averred that when he got to the General Hospital, Ugheli, he met the fourth defendant, a Houseman, who, without examining his late wife, referred the deceased to a private clinic known as Celina Clinic, which he hand wrote on the back of a referral letter together with the said clinic’s address.
He said the fourth defendant did that “on the pretext that the two medical officers and the two consultants, including one Houseman who were supposed to be on duty, had all gone for weekend even though the fourth defendant admitted that the said hospital had the facilities to handle the case of the deceased.”
The claimant further averred that the fourth defendant later changed his mind and advised him to take the deceased to Life Care Clinic, a private clinic in Ughelli, as it was closer in terms of proximity to Celina Clinic since the bleeding condition of the deceased was getting more severe by the passage of time.
He said the Medical Director of Life Care Clinic, in company of the second defendant delivered the deceased of a still birth, but the bleeding condition had grown worse, despite the several pints of blood the claimant was requested to purchase by the second defendant.
According to him, the deceased was further referred at the said clinic by its Medical Director and the second defendant to the Central Hospital, Warri, but, because her health condition had worsened, she gave up the ghost on her way to the said hospital.
The claimant strongly maintained that the defendants were negligent because they owed the deceased a duty “to adequately respond to the health condition of the deceased who was their patient by providing her with standard maternal health care delivery.”
Onome’s words, “The death of the deceased and her baby would have been prevented by the defendants and doctors and nurses under their supervision and employment both at the General Hospital, Otu-Jeremi and at the Central Hospital, Ughelli if they had adequately and professionally responded to the health condition of the deceased.”