Following the controversy over the missing small intestine of 12-year-old Adeola Akin-Bright, who later died at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital on Tuesday, our correspondent, Gideon Adonai, visited the Obitoks Medical Centre in Abule Egba where the first surgery was carried out and makes these findings.
A few weeks ago, the mother of 12-year-old Adeola Akin-Bright drew public’s attention when she cried out for help over the missing small intestine of her son during a corrective surgery.
Adebola’s mother said her son went for a corrective surgery at a private hospital Obitoks Medical Centre in Abule Egba, and later at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja. It was at the LASUTH that she was confronted with the shocking revelation of her son’s missing intestine. While LASUTH has said that it had nothing to do with the missing intestine, Obitoks medical centre has equally absolved itself of any complicity in the matter.
It is not yet clear if the disappearance of Adebola’s small intestine was a case of professional medical negligence or as some have speculated, of illegal organ harvesting at one of the medical institutions where he had gone for treatment. This is an investigation the Lagos State House of Assembly has raised a panel to unravel.
Unfortunately, despite LASUTH management’s assurance that Adebola, whose case was taken over by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu would receive expert care to ensure he didn’t die, died on Tuesday evening.
According to Adebola’s mother, Deborah Abiodun, in a viral video, her son began his medical treatment at Obitoks Hospital located at S 2, Gideon Adeniran Street behind Ile Epo Market, in Ile-Epo, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, to address an intestinal obstruction.
Deborah recounted Adebola’s traumatic journey in the video, saying, “Sometime in March this year, my boy started vomiting and stooling, and the hospital we took him to suspected typhoid and he was treated there.”
“However, when his condition didn’t improve after about five days, we moved him to another hospital, Obitoks Medical Centre, where it was discovered that he had a ruptured appendix requiring surgery.
“After about two weeks in the hospital, he emerged looking healthy again and even resumed school, doing well. Tragically, Adebola complained of stomach pains in June, leading us back to the hospital (Obitoks). It was then discovered that he had developed intestinal obstruction, necessitating another surgery.
“There appeared a complication as the boy was still draining bilious fluid more than seven days after the surgery. The CMD at Obitoks recommended another surgery and even secured the services of a professor from a teaching hospital.”
SECOND SURGERY AT LASUTH
However, the family opted for the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, believing they would receive a more comprehensive care there.
After an initial course of treatment and various medications, 25 days later, LASUTH doctors opted for another surgery.
However, the consultant surgeon, who performed the surgery, thereafter informed Adebola’s mother that his small intestine was missing and that they could not guarantee his survival beyond five days.
At that stage, Deborah said the boy could no longer absorb nutrients from food and might need to rely on intravenous feeding for the rest of his life.
She lamented, “I was dumbfounded; it was like my whole life was shattered because it was a story that could be told in Nollywood. Where could a small intestine have gone to?”
OBITOKS DENIES INTESTINAL MISHANDLING
Deborah said she later contacted the surgeon at Obitoks Hospital, who had handled the previous surgery, who also expressed surprise that LASUTH claimed they could not locate the boy’s small intestine.
According to the United States National Institutes of Health, although small intestine transplant has been on the increase in recent years, “intestinal transplants remain the most challenging and least frequently performed vascularised intra-abdominal organ transplants.”
A Visit To Obitoks Medical Centre
While the case of Adetola’s missing intestine is still being investigated, AF24News/Franktalknow.com decided to pay a visit to Obitoks Medical Centre where the first surgery on Adetola was performed. Security at the Medical Centre had been beefed up when our correspondent visited the facility last week. The staff members were weary of visitors probably because the hospital had been in the news.
Our correspondent was eventually granted access after convincing the security that he was there to find out details of how he could register his wife for antenatal services.
It appeared reports of the missing intestine had had its toll on the hospital as our correspondent observed that the facility was scanty with a few patients as well as medical personnel.
If the facility itself is near empty, the surroundings are not. Different activities were going on around the facility with noise pollution that could impact on patients negatively.
The visit by our correspondent to the medical facility reveals that the hospital is located in a dumpsite around Ile-Epo Oja in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
While it is not clear if the dumpsite was in existence before the building housing the hospital was erected, there is no doubt that the environment is not conducive for a medical health facility as it is prone to attract pathogens and other vectors due to its dirty surroundings.
Our correspondent noticed that the medical facility is in a rundown surrounding where scrap dealers pushing carts and other persons rove while scores of them sat at the entrance of the medical centre.
Besides, the surroundings are populated by scroungers and hemp smokers who could pose a threat to the health of the patients and their caregivers.
Some herd of stray cows also walked around the surroundings.
Attempts to speak with the chief medical officer of the centre did not yield fruit as the medical personnel on ground insisted that only registered patients could see him.
The Lagos State Ministry of Health is also yet to provide a response to enquiries on how the hospital was approved to operate in such a surrounding.
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