University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital on Tuesday placed a consultant, Prof. A.K Salami, on immediate suspension for bringing a suspected Coronavirus patient into the hospital and hiding his real status.
The patient and his wife had travelled from Lagos to Ilorin where the consultant facilitated the Holland returnee’s admission for food poisoning instead of disclosing his real health status.
After he dues, the same consultant allegedly facilitated his quick burial without asking the hospital to take his sample.
However, the wife later tested positive for Coronavirus.
An investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, exposed the issue in several tweets during the week but was countered by the Kwara State COVID-19 Committee, which accused him of misinforming Nigerians.
However, in Tuesday, UITH Chief Medical Director, Prof. Abdullahi Dasilva Yusuff, admitted in a prepared text at a press conference in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, that the journalist’s claims were true.
Though he made a passing reference reference to Soyombo’s allegations, he said the consultant would be sanctioned for misleading hospital staffers.
His statement reads: “It is with a serious concern that I am making this address over the recent happenings at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), following the death on Thursday, April 2nd 2020, of a suspected COVID-19 patient some few hours on admission at the Accident and Emergency wing of the hospital.
As you are all aware, this is not the best of time for our dear nation and indeed the entire world over the rampaging pandemic disease, COVID-19.
The disease, which first broke out in China some few months ago had since ravaged countless number of countries of the world- Nigeria not being an exception.
Following directives from the Federal Ministry of Health, we swung into immediate actions, by upgrading our isolation centre with necessary facilities and retraining of our staff for any envisaged emergencies. Refresher courses were organized for all categories of staff of the UITH to brace them up for the greatest challenges threatening human existence, at least in the modern world.
Besides, the number of staff reporting to work was reduced in line with strict compliance to the World Health Organisation (WHO) directive on Social Distancing to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. Synergies were built with other health care givers/ stakeholders across the state, in readiness for any eventuality.
With all these level of preparedness and precautionary measures, we were taken aback to discover how a very Senior Consultant of this hospital had facilitated the admission of a suspected case of COVID-19 at the Accident and Emergency section of the hospital on the night of Wednesday, April 1st 2020.
We were fed with the information of a suspected Food Poisoning, as the cause of the death of the patient until we got another lead to the likely cause of the death of the said patient.
In fact, it was shocking to us that the wife of the deceased patient had tested positive for the deadly virus as announced yesterday by the kwara State Covid-19 Technical committee.
Already, all UITH staff with close contact with the deceased patient on the night of his admission, or his corpse have been ordered to proceed on self isolation.
Besides, the ‘A and E’ ward and the ambulance used to convey his corpse to Offa had been promptly fumigated. Without belabouring the narrative that led to the unfortunate incident, here are the immediate decisions we had taken on the Professor who facilitated the admission of the patient.
The Management of the Hospital has placed Prof A. K. Salami on immediate suspension as a Senior Consultant in this hospital bordering on his unethical conduct in the admission, management and eventual release of the corpse of the suspected Covid -19 patient who died in the hospital on the 2nd of April, 2020.
In the same vein, the UITH management has constituted a Medical Investigation Committee on the COVID-19 Suspected Case. The committee which is headed by Professor E.O. Afolayan has other members as : Professor B.S. Alabi, Professor (Mrs) G.F. Adepoju who is the Chairperson, Ethical Committee of the hospital, Mrs I.A. Akosile, Deputy Director (Legal), Professor G.K. Oshagbemi, Dr L.J. Olosunde, who is the local President of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Mr O.A. Olatunde, Chairman, UITH branch of JOHESU, Mr G.E. Salami, Chairman, NANNM, UITH and Mrs O.O. Olubolaji who will serve as the Secretary of the high powered body.
The terms of reference of this Committee are to: Investigate the allegations of the CONVID-19 Suspected case that died on April, 2nd, 2020 that was brought in by a relative who is also a member of staff (Professor A.K. Salami), Investigate the process of admission, management and eventual release of the corpse, Investigate motives behind the concealment of accurate information provided by the patient’s relative Determine culpability of the patient’s relative involved, Make appropriate recommendations to forestall future recurrence of the act.
This Committee is to submit their report within a week from the date of their first sitting.”