A 32-year-old woman, Shema’u Labaran, died along with her nine-month pregnancy at the Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital, Kano, reportedly due to the inability of her husband to pay medical bills in the new naira notes in time.
Labaran was allegedly left in pain for more than eight hours without attention from the medical personnel on duty.
Narrating the unfortunate incident that led to his wife’s death, the 42-year-old husband of the deceased, Bello Baffa, told an online newspaper on Saturday that his wife (Shema’u) bled to death while he was struggling to settle medical bills at the pharmacy through transfer.
Baffa revealed how he spent hours waiting for the cashier to confirm the payment of N8,528 for drugs because the hospital had stopped receiving the old naira notes.
The bereaved husband regretted that the medical personnel insisted they would not attend to his late wife until he deposited money and provided evidence before his wife would be attended to.
Baffa said he had earlier provided N8,500 old naira notes to the cashier but he was told the hospital management had placed an embargo on the old currency and refused to provide a point-of-sale service except payment through transfer.
Baffa told the online platform that the hospital subsequently requested N4,000 for blood service after he had brought his relatives to donate blood for his wife.
”I was told I had to pay an additional N4,000 for blood service, and I quickly rushed out to the payment point. At that time, it was late and (I was) afraid my wife had suffered a lot without medical attention. So after I made the payment and waited for an alert, I had to beg them to issue the payment evidence while my brother would remain with them pending when they would confirm the transfer. I also narrated my wife’s condition. They accepted the condition and the receipt was printed. I rushed to the ward again and it was at that moment, getting to 1am, that my wife was taken to the labour room.”
Regrettably, Baffa disclosed that the doctor later came out of the labour room around 3am to break the bad news, ‘your wife and unborn baby could not make it.’
Although the husband said he believed Shema’u would die at an appropriate time, he insisted that the alleged inhumane treatment by the hospital to his wife because of the old naira notes rejection contributed to her sudden death.
Baffa disclosed that he had taken to fate as a Muslim. He, however, urged the government to check the painful policy to save innocent lives from untimely death the way he lost Shema’u.
Efforts to get a reaction from the management of the hospital were not successful as our correspondent was directed to speak to the state hospital management board.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the board, Ibrahim Abdullahi, who confirmed the incident, stressed that the management had commenced investigation into the matter.
He noted that the Chief Medical Director is scheduled to brief journalists about the development as soon as the investigation is concluded.