A father of three, Bello Ali Baffa has narrated how his 32-year-old pregnant wife, Shema’u Sani Labaran, who was in labour, bled to death due to rejection of old naira note tendered to settle her medical bill at a Kano State government-owned hospital, Muhammadu Abdullahi Wase specialist hospital.
Baffa, a 42-year-old man, said his pregnant wife was about to be delivered of their fourth baby when he took her to the hospital but unfortunately medical personnel on duty didn’t attend to her.
He said he had the old naira notes on him but they rejected them just like they did to many other patients and that no POS was available for transaction, except transfer.
Baffa revealed that he spent hours waiting for the cashier to confirm payment alert of N8,528 for drugs.
And the medical personnel insisted they would not attend to his wife until he deposited necessary payment and provided evidence.
He narrated his experience: “I brought my wife to Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital for delivery because she was already in her ninth months period.
“We were told to open a file. We did that and then a doctor wrote some prescribed drugs for us and they asked me to go and get it. The total amount was N8,300.
“On getting to the pharmacy a far distance from the ward, I brought out the money only to be informed that it is old notes, which the hospital is no longer collecting.
“I was directed to another place to make transfer. I brought out my ATM card but the man told me there is no POS machine, that it is only transfer plus N200 charges that is acceptable.
“I complied because my wife was already in labour.
“After I did the transfer, it took me another 40 minutes before alert was confirmed and I was issued payment receipt.
No bed space
“I quickly rushed to the pharmacy to collect the drug and returned to the ward. On getting to the ward, I was told there was no bed space.
“We waited for another hour before they secured a bed space without mattress.
“We accepted it at least for them to attend to her. When the doctor came he told me that my wife had lost a lot of blood and they need fresh blood.
“I had to rush out to call my relatives. Luckily, I got three of them, who they came and donate blood.
“Then the doctor asked me to go and get blood bags. I returned to the pharmacy unfortunately they don’t have. I went out of the hospital to buy that with my ATM.
“As if that was not enough, the hospital subsequently requested N4,000 for blood service after I had brought my relatives who donated blood to my wife.
“I was told I had to pay additional N4,000 for blood service, I quickly rushed out to the payment point.
“At that period it was late and I was afraid my wife had suffered a lot without medical attention.
“So after I made the payment and waiting for alert, I had to beg them to issue the payment evidence, while my brother would remain with them pending when they 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 labour room.
“The doctor later came out of the labour room at about 3am to break the bad news that my wife and unborn baby could not make it,” he mourned.
Although, the husband said he believed Shema’u would die at the appropriate time, he insisted the inhuman treatment of the hospital to his wife because of old naira notes rejection contributed to her sudden death.
Baffa disclosed that he had taken to faith as Muslim.
He, however, urged the state government to check the painful policy to save innocent lives from untimely death the way he lost Shema’u.
Efforts to get reaction from the management of the hospital was not successful as our correspondent was directed to speak with the state hospital management board.
When contacted, the spokesperson of the board, Ibrahim Abdullahi, who confirmed the incident, stressed that management had commenced investigation into the matter and would brief journalists about the development as soon as the investigation is concluded.
Recall that the Kano state government had recently issued directive against rejection of the old naira notes and threatened to sanction any outlet that violated the instructions.
CSO sets up seven-man panel
Meanwhile, the Kano Civil Society Forum, on Monday, set up a seven-man panel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Hajiya Labaran.
In a statement signed by the civil society President, Amb. Ibrahim Waiya and its Public Relations Officer, Dr. M. Adamu, they said it received series of complaint hence the need to wade into the matter.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Kano Civil Society Forum has been drawn to an incident regarding one pregnant woman who lost her life at Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Hospital in Kano, over the circumstances surrounding the death.
“The ill-fated death was attributed to an alleged negligence of some medical personnel of the hospital, who were said to have refused to attend to the deceased, when she was in dire need of the medical attention.
“The multiple complaints and calls from different quarters and responsible citizens within and outside Kano, were too enormous to be ignored.
“It is, therefore, against this backdrop that the leadership of the Kano Civil Society Forum, approved the establishment of a seven-man committee to investigate the alleged circumstances surrounding the death of Hajiya Shema’u Sami Labaran and advise accordingly.
“The Committee has three weeks to submit its report,” the statement read.