Consultant Gynaecologist and Chief Medical Director of Agbor Central Hospital, Dr. Roy Ngozi Maduka, has said that the insinuations made in the viral video by some persons when the gas explosion victims were brought to the hospital were not the true situation at the hospital in Agbor. Agbor is the headquarters of Ika south local government area of Delta state
The gas explosion incident happened on Friday last week where some persons received various degrees of burns and some died following the severity of burns from the gas fire. It was one of the biggest tragedies that rocked the town of Agbor in recent times. There were videos and posts on social media alleging that as at the time the victims were brought to the hospital there were no medical personnel and no facility on ground.
Dr. Maduka said the incident happened around 5 to 6pm on that fateful day. According to him, two doctors are usually on ground in case of emergencies in the hospital. He explained that the doctors called to inform him of the gas explosion and mass casualties. He had to reverse back to the hospital to join hands with them. He said a total of nine doctors were ready for the incident.
The medical director said the crowd at the hospital was massive. He said pain relief, antibiotics and drips were given to the victims. He said that some people were taking pictures and doing videos, hence given them no space to do their work.
Dr. Maduka told the visiting journalists that the state house of assembly member representing Ika south, Chukky Dandy and the special assistant to the governor on security were also on ground.
He said the hospital treat burns but it depends on the gravity of burns. He noted that the burns from the gas explosion were more than 80 percent.
He then said: “If you cannot do good, do not do harm. Keeping the patients when you know you are not the one to manage them is wrong.You must make arrangement for onward transmission. The commissioner called asking for what assistance we needed, I told him we needed ambulance. He deployed ambulance to us and another to FMC, Asaba.
“The ambulance deployed to FMC was to move those there to UBTH after stabilising them. We were trying to move the ones with us to FMC when we heard some were already in FMC. Those ones were moved there by people who saw them on the road.
“When FMC saw the extent of burns they said they have to move them to UBTH. This was around 1am when they started moving them to UBTH. At about 3.30am, they brought the last person to UBTH.”
Dr. Maduka said the issue of taking care of burns is dependent on the extent of the burns. He said he is a consultant Gynaecologist, he refers gynaecological issues to higher hospitals like FMC and UBTH if need be and that it is normal in medical practice.
He added: “It’s not everything you can manage in your place. One of the best hospitals in the world is Hamasmith. It refers patients based on their area. It is normal. You cannot start something so that people will say you are treating them. You should know UBTH is higher than here.”
He said one of the persons who posted the video did not spend up to two minutes in the hospital before he made the video and began to share, shouting no doctor, nobody in the hospital, adding that people will want to paint so many things in bad light.
He said when an accident happens, “do you think you can wait for ambulance from hospital? It is the available vehicle that you use to bring the victim to the hospital and from there, the hospital takes them from you.”
Dr. Maduka revealed that the state government is building a trauma centre that when completed would be one of the best in Africa. He said the centre in Agbor will contain facilities for handling all accident victims and all category of burns. He noted that the governor made the consideration because there are a lot accidents that happen on the roads in Agbor.
He said: “Equipment for treatment of burns is not magic. All you need is a dedicated burns centre. You don’t treat burns patients in the open ward because infection will get into them and kill them fast. You don’t walk in and walk out, it is secluded. Even at that if the burns are higher like this case, chances of survival are very slim.
“No hospital has all the equipment in the world. What they are saying is not true. The trauma centre being built is where we can take care of accident victims and burns. Accident, fire burns are all traumas. For equipment in the hospital, the basic things are available. Some of our personnel do not go on leave because their department needs them. For this incident, I disagree with anybody that says we did not do our best.”