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HIV baby: FG fires LUTH CMD

Posted by By MOLLY KILETE, Abuja on 2006/08/03 | Views: 1026 |

HIV baby: FG fires LUTH CMD

The Federal Government on Wednesday directed the chief medical director (CMD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital(LUTH), Professor Tolu Odukoya.....

The Federal Government on Wednesday directed the chief medical director (CMD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital(LUTH), Professor Tolu Odukoya, to proceed on his terminal leave with immediate effect following the report on the investigation into how an infant, Baby Oyinkansola Eniola, was transfused with HIV-infected blood at the teaching hospital.

Similarly, the chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of the hospital as well as Dr. C.C. Okanny, head, Department of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, have equally been relieved of their appointments with immediate effect.

Minister of Health, Professor Eyitayo Lambo, who announced this at a news briefing on the release of the report and government white paper on Baby Eniola on Wednesday, in Abuja, also announced the immediate retirement of Mr. Soji Ayelari, desk officer, Department of Hematology and Blood Transfusion; Mr. O.A Adeniyi, chief medical laboratory scientist and Mrs. S.O. Kazeem, chief medical laboratory scientist. Mr. E.O. Onifade, assistant director, medical laboratory services, was demoted to the position of chief medical scientist.

However, Dr. A.S. Akanmu, consultant, Haematology and Blood Transfusion, received a warning to be more careful and responsible in providing effective leadership in the running of the laboratory and the blood bank, while Dr. J.B.Adetunji, consultant grade 1 in the Federal Minstry of Health, will oversee the activities of LUTH, pending the appointment of a substantive CMD, while the most senior consultant in the institution will oversee clinical services until a substantive CMD is appointed.

The minister further gave other recommendations and government’s position on the matter to include that Baby Eniola be reunited with her parents and that a team comprising a consultant paediatrician, medical social worker and clinical psychologist be set up by LUTH management to liaise with the parents of the child to ensure a smooth transition from hospital to her parents for the next 12 months.

He also announced government’s decision to accept and take full responsibility for the provision of full clinical management of Baby Eniola’s HIV/AIDS status and related health problem, which include the provision of ART, treatment of opportunistic infections and provision of nutritional supplement.
He also said that "government accepts the recommendation that there is a need for an overhaul of management of LUTH as well as punish the staff who were found wanting in one way of the other concerning this case".

Lambo, who attributed the sad incident of the Baby Eniola’s case to systematic failure, poor state of facilities and equipment, inadequate staff, poor management of staff, lack of stationery materials, no imprest and no alternative power supply in the blood bank, revealed that the hospital has not held any departmental meeting in the past six years.

The minister, who warned that government would not tolerate any act capable of derailing or reversing our reform programme in the health sector, which, according to him, is still on course, said, "we shall not tolerate any act(s) capable of derailing the process or reversing its gains on the part of our staff and or our health institution".

According to him, "it is our belief that these decisions will send the right signals to everybody in the sector in that Nigerians deserve and indeed, must receive the highest quality of health care services possible within the limits of our resources".

He gave assurance that government will continue to provide the human, material and financial resources needed to ensure that health services are provided in a professional, humane and conducive manner.
He urged chief medical directors, medical doctors as well as chairmen of boards of management of federal tertiary health institution to report cases of malpractices and mismanagement in their various institutions to his office within 48 hours, promising that steps would be taken to investigate and address such cases to avoid a repeat of the Baby Eniola saga.

The minister urged medical workers to be more diligent in the discharge of their duties in the spirit of SERVICOM and called on professional bodies to take more critical interest in conduct of their members’ professional duties.

Baby Eniola tested positive to HIV after receiving the controversial deadly blood under questionable circumstance in November 2005. Her parents tested negative to the deadly virus.

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