How University of Calabar clinic left girl to die because of N200

I have tried the much that I can but I’m unable to avoid talking about this tragedy that happened just two days ago. A young likeable university student, named Precious by her parents, obviously because she was that precious to them, had her sojourn on earth prematurely brought to an end due to the carelessness of those running the University of Calabar’s on-campus clinic. According to people in the know, she had a ruptured appendicitis and was brought in by friends but because she didn’t come with her 200 Naira worth student’s hospital/clinic card, or because those in that unit were not on seat to confirm she had previously registered, she was left to die and she did. What an avoidable tragedy! A case of gross negligence which should also pass for culpable homicide! It’s indeed a sad one. And reminds me of my (own) kid brother, Ambrose. My immediate younger sibling and my only brother. An equally likeable and very intelligent young university of Calabar student who was on admission in the SAME facility and died in similar circumstances; majorly due to gross negligence by the staff. He needed a transfusion but apparently, the doctor in charge of the blood bank had left his duty post without handing over to anyone, locked the place up and travelled for the weekend. That was in 2008. 15 years down the line and nothing has changed. My brother was highly intelligent and was the best fiction writer that I personally knew at the time. Those who knew him can attest to his genius. Amongst all the kids of my parents, he was the only one who aced his exams with little or no preparation. I was one of his biggest fans and often pleaded with him to teach me how to write- he wasn’t really able to do that directly- he only encouraged me but his death changed all of that as it sowed the seed of creative writing in me and also triggered the spirit of activism. My apologies for digressing. Back then, my family left everything to God as we were too overwhelmed by grief to fight the authorities. The UNICAL senior staff who was the medical director of that clinic then, was a family acquaintance. She never bothered to reach out or apologize neither did her husband. If not for gross negligence or dereliction of duty on her part, my brother and many others may not have died in that facility. I heard she died just recently, some two years ago. I was telling a friend about her death and the circumstances in which she died and my friend who knew about my brother’s death, pointed out to me that it was the same gross negligence that led to hers. Her own case was even more pathetic as her internal organs and systems were already rotting away by the time it was discovered but it was already too late.


It’s fair enough that the Vice Chancellor of UNICAL, Prof Florence Banku, has set up a panel to investigate the issue. But it isn’t enough. Beyond this face saving approach, the MD of that center should be suspended and a more competent person put in charge so the place could be properly run for the first time in its recent history. The bereaved family can as well go ahead and sue the authorities. But they should be rest assured that, a string of very severe divinely orchestrated punishments, await those whose direct and deliberate demonic negligence, led to this great and irreplaceable loss.


Rest in Peace pretty Precious.


©️ Simon Utsu, writes from Calabar

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