The summary of findings of investigations into the death of pretty NYSC corps member, Oladepo Ifedayo who died on November 29th, has been released by the Minister of Youth & Sports, Solomon Dalung…
The national dailies in recent days have been awash with stories on the assumed circumstances surrounding the death of Oladepo Ifedolapo Rachael, a corps member of the 2016 Batch ‘B’ in Kano on 29th November, 2016. On the strength of the wide publicity given to the allegation of negligence on the part of the NYSC, (which did not tally with the preliminary reports from Kano State NYSC Secretariat), I set up an independent investigation committee from the NYSC Headquarters headed by the Director Corps Welfare and Inspectorate, Mrs.Victoria B. Okakwu, on Friday 2nd December, 2016.
The Committee submitted its report and from its findings, we have a very clear picture of what happened. Miss Oladepo, who was a graduate of Transport Management from the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, registered at the Orientation Camp on Friday, 25th November, 2016. On 27th November at 5:00 pm, the deceased first appeared at the Camp clinic with complaints of headache and fever which she said she had been experiencing for two days.
On examination, the Doctors on duty noticed rashes on her legs which she claimed started appearing as a result of her use of a second-hand knicker she bought without first washing it. The Doctors at the Camp clinic then treated her for the fever and malaria and released her to go back to the hostel.
At about 3:00 am on 28th November, the deceased was brought back to the Camp clinic by corps members who were her friends, with further complaints of vomiting and general body pains. After further examination, the Doctors on night duty noticed that the rashes on her legs had increased which the deceased still dismissed as reaction to usage of a second-hand knicker. She was thereafter admitted at the Camp clinic and treated with prescription drugs to soothe her body pains as she had already been treated for malaria.
At 8:00am on 28th November, 2016, one of the Doctors on duty at the Clinic examined the deceased and inquired about any history of drug or food allergy which could have resulted in the rashes. The deceased still explained that it was a reaction to the use of second-hand clothes. The Doctor thereafter administered treatment for the rashes and associated itching.
The Doctor proceeded to invite all her other colleagues who then converged by 9:00 am to further examine the deceased. They noticed that the fever and body pains had subsided but the rashes on her trunk and lower limbs were still very obvious. They concluded that in view of the treatment she had already taken and her vital body signs normal, she should be placed on observation with iv fluid (normal saline). And that if the condition did not improve, the deceased should be taken to the hospital for a more authoritative investigation and treatment.
As the plans were being made, the deceased called her doctor at home who then requested to speak with the doctors at the camp clinic. Her home doctor further affirmed to the CMD at the camp clinic on the phone that the line of treatment given was good and the drugs administered were normal. It was at this point the deceased complained to her home doctor that she had not urinated for some time. This was what the doctors at the Clinic overheard which hastened the deceased’s referral to Gwarzo General Hospital by 4:00 pm.
On that trip, the deceased was accompanied by two doctors from the camp clinic including the CMD and the Nurse on duty who happened to have been seconded by the State Government from the same General Hospital to the camp clinic. They arrived at the hospital about 30 minutes later and met the doctor on duty. After examination, the doctor immediately ordered for full blood count, kidney function test, hepatitis and HIV. From the result of the investigation, the doctor concluded that the deceased had kidney infection probably due to untreated urinary tract infection (UTI).
Since her potassium level was high, the deceased required immediate dialysis which was only available at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital in Kano, about 2 hours drive away. To survive the grueling journey, the doctor decided to stabilize her overnight.
The investigation showed that the deceased responded well until about 2:00 am on 29 November when her condition worsened, and her body began to show noticeable signs of fluid retention. She was thereafter placed on oxygen to aid her breathing as the doctors battled to stabilize her for the long journey to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. She finally died at about 4:00am on the 29th November, 2016.
In all of the above, some conclusions could be highlighted without any fear of contradiction.
(i) From the evening of 27th November, 2016 up to the early hours of 29th, the corps member was promptly attended to. The allegation of negligence on the part of NYSC is therefore unfounded.
(ii) The Orientation Camp clinic where the corps member was first treated has a total of 31 qualified and registered Doctors, 20 Pharmacists and 11 Nurses. There are no student Doctors as all the Doctors are fully certified by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
(iii) The Camp clinic in Kano Orientation Camp, as in all the Camp clinics nationwide, runs 24-hour service, hence she received attention at 3:00 am on the 28th of November when her friends brought her in from the hostel.
(iiii) The Camp clinic in Kano was well stocked with essential drugs for a non-surgical hospital.
(v) There was no delay in referring the deceased to the secondary hospital when the Camp clinic Doctors found that her case was beyond what could be managed in the Camp clinic.
(vi) Apart from being the closest secondary hospital to the Camp, Gwarzo General Hospital is not a village hospital as insinuated in the Press. It is a standard General Hospital established in 1970 as a Zonal Referral Hospital with surgical theatres. It currently has eleven (11) Doctors and is reputed to be one of the busiest in the whole of Kano State.
(vii) We have also established that at no time was the deceased left unattended at the Gwarzo General Hospital as the Nurse who accompanied her to the hospital is a staff of the Hospital.
(viii) Like many corps members do upon arrival at the Camp, it is clear that the deceased had an ailment which she did not disclose. From the Doctors’ report, the corps member died of renal sepsis occasioned by infection. Even to the untrained, Kidney infections do not develop and degenerate to the level of mortality in three days (i.e 27th to 29th November, 2016).
(ix) The close friends of the deceased who were by her side all through at the Camp, have also attested to the fact of prompt attendance at the clinic by the Doctors at the Camp.
(x) The deceased was neither forced nor harassed to take part in any parade at the time of her ailment. There was no usual parade rehearsal since the Swearing-in Ceremony had not taken place at the time she fell sick.
The purpose of this investigation and report is not to justify the death of our corps member but to establish the facts surrounding her death, especially against the backdrop of the unfounded insinuations that have been peddled in the Press. All these facts could be verified right from the Orientation Camp Clinic entries, the medical personnel and the records at the Gwarzo General Hospital.
Indeed, the death of a single corps member in the course of service is one death too many. Beyond the colossal loss to the family of the deceased, the loss of a corps member to the NYSC family and the nation at large is unquantifiable. At this prime of her life, Miss Oladepo was expected to make her greatest contribution to the development of Kano State and Nigeria in general. She has definitely left a vacuum that may never be filled.
As we mourn her and other corps members who have departed this world, we shall continue to honour her memory by working harder with the rest of the corps members to achieve the time-honoured objectives of the NYSC.
May the soul of Oladepo Ifedolapo Rachael and the souls of all other deceased corps members rest in peace Amen.