Biodun Ogungbo, MBBS, FRCS, FRCSEd, MSc
Moradeun Balogun is the young woman who was stabbed in the neck on a street in Lagos and died recently. Moradeun was stabbed by an armed robber trying to steal her valuables. She died from massive blood loss.
There has been so much written about her.
But, no one has asked the pertinent question.
Who stabbed her?
Who killed Moradeun Balogun?
This young 28 year old woman, a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) was robbed and then stabbed in the neck. Some good Samaritans rushed her to the nearest hospital, R-Jolad hospital in Gbagada for treatment.
The hospital said its doctors evaluated her as an emergency and determined they could not handle the case. They therefore referred her to the nearest higher hospital; a secondary care centre 5 minutes away (General Hospital, Gbagada).
She subsequently died. One can speculate that she died from massive blood loss. She bled to death from the stab wound in her neck as identified by the doctors in R Jolad.
She died as a direct result of the stab wound.
Who stabbed her?
Who killed Moradeun Balogun?
The story continues
Social media furore exploded due to a report that the hospital refused to attend to Moradeun because of the failure of the good Samaritans to produce a Police report.
This singular act was reported as leading to the death of this incredible and aspiring young woman.
People shouted that Moradeun lost her life despite legal provisions mandating hospitals in the country to prioritise saving of lives to the exclusion of everything like a Police report or even payment.
According to section 20 of the National Health Act, 2014, “Healthcare providers, health workers or establishments shall not refuse a person on emergency treatment for any reason. Violation of the law attracts a fine of N100, 000 or a jail term of six months or both.”
Similarly in 2017, the Federal Government enacted the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act which provides for the compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshots by hospitals in Nigeria and goes further to impose sanction on erring hospital.
In Section 11, a five-year jail term or N500, 000 fine or both for any authority or person whose omission results in the unnecessary death of a gunshot victim.
Section 1 of the same law mandates hospitals to receive and treat victims of gunshot wounds with or without police clearance and with or without initial deposit but are duty-bound to report to the nearest police station within two hours of commencement of treatment.
However, these rules and some completely ignore the real issue of availability of medical expertise and lack of competent emergency ambulance services in Nigeria.
In its defence, R-Jolad hospital said it did not request for a Police report but sought urgent transfer of the victim to another facility where help could be easily rendered to explore and stop the bleeding. The hospital relayed that the woman was assessed and immediately referred to General Hospital Gbagada for vascular surgery.
R-Jolad hospital prides itself as a healthcare facility that is poised at providing quality and personalized healthcare services in all clinical aspects including ophthalmology, dental care, anesthesiology, pediatrics surgery, dispensary and general medicine.
The hospital does not have a vascular surgeon.
Vascular surgeons are few and far between in Nigeria.
There are not many doctors who can open the neck in such a victim to do what is necessary.
I probably could but I would be calling on my long dead mother for assistance!
So, the real question remains.
Who killed her?
Who stabbed Moradeun Balogun?
The hospital and the health establishments cannot be blamed for her death. We are all in the same boat with the current levels of insecurity, instability and violence in Nigeria.
That we do not have a credible and competent health care delivery system including emergency ambulance service is not the fault of the population or hospitals.
Remember some Ministers said we have enough doctors and nurses in Nigeria!
A crime has been committed here by a criminal gang in Lagos and someone knows who. The Police should spend its energy and meagre resources on this investigation to find the killer of Moradeun Balogun. We must get to the bottom of this and fish out the real killer.
May I suggest that the Police put up a notice for information in the area in return for a substantial amount of money? I am sure many well-meaning Nigerians would support it financially.
Someone in Gbagada knows the person who stabbed her.