Horror of Nigeria’s dysfunctional emergency medical services


Almost sixty years after attaining independence, Nigeria does not have a coordinated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. After a tour of some top public hospitals in the country, Associate Editor ADEKUNLE YUSUF reports that many Nigerians are losing their lives to injuries and illnesses that an urgent medical response would have saved 

 

Without any inkling of what was to happen, Tuesday, November 12, sprouted into full vibrancy in Owerri, the bustling capital of Imo State. This reporter, having sneaked into the midst of forlorn figures in the waiting sections of the gigantic building housing the accident and emergency (AE) ward at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in the sprawling city, had kept track of activities for several hours without anyone suspecting his mission.

From burns to cuts to old people battling with breathing difficulties to patients with loss of consciousness to fits that refused to stop to life-threatening cases, the AE literally had a full plate on…



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