Abuja hos­pi­tals overwhelmed

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Ron­ald Mu­tum

Many hos­pi­tals in Abuja had a hec­tic time cop­ing with the in­flux of scores of vic­tims from yes­ter­day’s blast scene. The Asokoro Gen­eral Hospi­tal was one of them. Chief Med­i­cal Di­rec­tor of the hospi­tal Dr. Amodoh Abubakar told news­men that 27 bod­ies were re­ceived while 25 in­jured per­sons were be­ing treated.

Our re­porter how­ever ob­served over 30 dead bod­ies re­moved from a Na­tional Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (NEMA) pick-up and kept in front of the hospi­tal mor­tu­ary, most of them badly man­gled, some burnt be­yond recog­ni­tion and dis­mem­bered.

Five bod­ies ap­peared in com­plete shape and could be eas­ily iden­ti­fied. Hospi­tal of­fi­cials went around tag­ging and col­lat­ing them be­fore putting them in body bags. Head of Clin­i­cal Ser­vices at the hospi­tal, Dr Henry Onyeg­bu­tulem, said the hospi­tal had to re­call work­ers from leave to as­sist with the emer­gency. He pre­vented ac­cess to the in­jured, say­ing they were too trau­ma­tized.

Also at the Asokoro hospi­tal, Ab­bas Idris, the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the FCT Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (FERMA) told Daily Trust that his agency was go­ing round hos­pi­tals to see how they could as­sist in man­ag­ing the cri­sis. He could not con­firm the ca­su­alty fig­ure. Some people who gath­ered at the hospi­tal an­grily sought ac­cess to the mor­tu­ary and emer­gency wards to look for their miss­ing re­la­tions. Many nar­rated their or­deals to news­men, telling how miss­ing rel­a­tives were un­reach­able through their mo­bile phones.

A distraught man named Fran­cis said he first vis­ited the Nyanya hospi­tal and was told to go to the Asokoro hospi­tal. He said his cousin’s mo­bile phone had gone off and was un­able to lo­cate her. Au­thor­i­ties at the Asokoro Hospi­tal be­gan mak­ing a list of pos­si­ble vic­tims. The CMD, Dr Abubakar, who con­ducted the ex­er­cise, col­lected names and de­scrip­tions from rel­a­tives.

Rel­a­tives were re­quired to give de­tails in­clud­ing names, age, gen­der, com­plex­ion, oc­cu­pa­tion or link to the vic­tims and their per­sonal phone num­bers. Checks at the Wuse Gen­eral Hospi­tal re­vealed that 16 bod­ies were re­ceived at the mor­tu­ary while 51 oth­ers were re­ceiv­ing treat­ment. Chief Med­i­cal Di­rec­tor, Dr Obiora Chubundu, re­fused to talk to news­men, re­fer­ring them to the FCT hospi­tal man­age­ment board.

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