Abubakar with officials of Bauchi State Government
Segun Awofadeji visited Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua Dialysis Centre at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital in Bauchi, where Abubakar Buba whose two kidneys were removed by fake doctors is on dialysis machine and writes that the survival of Abubakar is further threatened by shortage of funds and intricacies
Looking at him from a close range, Abubakar Buba, a 25 year old Fulani boy from Bununu village in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State is not a happy man. He has swollen legs, face, and arms. His eyeball looks hollow in their sockets. He breathes with the speed of time. He can manage to walk, but just a few steps. For now, his life has no movement.
Lying critically ill on his bed and sometimes stuck to his wheel chair at Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua Dialysis Centre at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital in Bauchi, Abubakar says, “It’s not my wish to die, but now I have no kidney”.
On August 15, 2012, Abubakar Buba complained of sudden headache to his father. Together with his father, Mallam Ahamdu Buba they inquired about the best hospital to get treatment for Abubakar. They were directed to a private clinic, Aminchi Hospital located at the Yakubu Wanka area of the metropolis. Unknown to them, they were in a wrong hand. At the clinic, both father and son met one Mijinyawa, who introduced himself as, “Dr. Abdulkadir Abdullahi, the Medical Director.”
The pseudo Medical Director performed a surgical operation on Abubakar in the company of another accomplice named Yusuf Mohammed Zangina. With the surgical operation, they removed Abubakah’s two kidneys and left him with nothing to live a normal life. But, investigation later showed that the duo of Mijinyawa and Yusuf are not medical doctors, but nurses. They were later arrested by the police and have since been in detention.
One month after the two kidneys were removed from Abubakar THISDAY visited Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua Dialysis Centre at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital in Bauchi ,the hospital where Abubakah has been bed-ridden and the revelations are shocking.
Presently, he is surviving on dialysis machine on which he has to undergo treatment for at least three times a week ,and it is very expensive for poor Abubakar whose parents are peasant farmers trying to make ends meet. But, all these while his expensive medical treatment is being shouldered by the League of Friends, a Non-Governmental Organization in the state.
Now, the only hope for Abubakar to survive, according to his doctors is for him to have an immediate kidney transplant and this will take him to India at the cost of about N5.1million naira.
Good news for Abubakar as the Bauchi state government in August this year donated N3.5million equivalent of $22,000 US dollars for the treatment, while the remaining balance is still hanging with no clear idea where to get the balance of N1.6million
However, three weeks after the state Government presented the money, the patient is still lying critically ill on his sick bed in Bauchi, because his family is still battling to raise the remaining balance of the total amount needed for the transplant in India.
The Director of Administration for Miyetti Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria, Bauchi State chapter, Alhaji Sadiq Ibrahim in an interview said that, “we need the remaining money, and the patient now is currently facing many difficulties in terms of feeding, even the money to feed him in the hospital is becoming difficult. And the major problem is no one knows the exact date that he will be flown out to India for the transplant’’.
According to him, “initially, the families of the two medical personnel that removed the two kidneys of Abubakar intended and offered to pay the total sum of N5. 1million required for the treatment, before the intervention of the State government. Now the government did not pay all the amount required and we have heard nothing from the suspects, but when we investigated the reason for their silence we heard that their lawyer asked them not to pay the amount because paying the amount is an admission of guilt.”
Although the cash donation of $22, 000 dollars equivalent to (N3.5 million) presented to his father, Mallam Buba for kidney transplant in India by the Bauchi State Government brought a ray of hope for the ailing Abubakar, the shortage of fund means Abubakar remains in the situation of life without kidney.
Ibrahim stated further “We appreciate and thank the Bauchi State Government for the kind gesture. We feel it is its responsibility to take care of its own citizens.”
Ibrahim however expressed concern that the N3.5 million released for Abubakar’s medical trip to India would not be adequate as it would not cater for the transportation and accommodation of the patient, medical personnel, two or three kidney donors and a relative of the patient that would accompany Abubakar to India.
He explained: “It appears we will still go back to the State government to request for more funds based on investigation which had been finalized. We still require about N1.6 million to cover air ticket, feeding and other logistics. The patient will be taken to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano for kidney compatibility test between the donors and the patient to see how compatible their kidneys would match with the patient. This requires about N216, 000 excluding logistics. All in all we require N5.1 million.”
But in his response to the concerns of inadequate funds for Abubakar’s treatment, the State commissioner for Health, Dr. Abubakar Mallami insisted the Government has done all it can to help the situation. “It is my prerogative as the commissioner of health to know the details of the money and how it was calculated and I know for a fact that we at the moment have a patient who had kidney transplant through the same process from Bauchi State at exactly the sum of money which we have given for Abubakar’s transplant, If somebody has a contrary opinion that is his own opinion. The money is enough to take the patient for his transplant. I am not to go into the details.
If you wish you can travel to India on a first class air ticket and go and stay in five-star hotel, which is possible. But If I want I can travel in economic class air ticket for my health, go there and stay in a three star hotel without any problem and come back and most of us have gone to India.” He said.
The health commissioner also said that the incident was a wake-up call for State government which has the sole responsibility of regulating health practice in the state to strengthen its monitoring and supervisory mechanism, stressing that teams have been established to carry out periodic supervisions in all the three senatorial districts to report back to the ministry.
“This is not only in private clinics but government clinics to keep a record as to how the standard of medical practice is being run and maintained. We are now restructuring the whole process because it means there are areas that there are gaps where we need to address so that there will be no re-occurrence and threat to public safety in the future”
On efforts to ensure that the perpetrators of the evil act were brought to book, Dr Mallami, assured: “I am told that three suspects were arrested and questioned by the police and are now in court. You must understand that there is a criminal investigation and then there is a professional misconduct investigation going on side by side in this case. Criminal investigation has almost been concluded and the suspects have been taken to a magistrate court in Bauchi and have been slammed with charges on attempted homicide. What I can comment on is the professional misconduct which is our responsibility.
Our committee requested for one more week because of the delicate nature of the case to complete the assignment. They have not finished their assignment. They have access to the suspects in their detention cells and other stakeholders and I can tell you that justice will be done in Abubakar Buba’s case.”
As part of the impasse in Abubakar’s treatment, Ibrahim further disclosed that the patient was taken to Kano as a part of the process for kidney transplant to test the kidney of donors to know which one that will match his, but the test was not carried out as expected because the officer that will take the sample was in London, “so now we will take him to Ile Ife for the test even after the test we don’t have the remaining money to take him to India”, he says.
THISDAY investigation shows that the stalemate being experienced in helping Abubakar to live a normal live is that everyone is trying to exonerate himself from the blame , the state government pay the medication and accommodation without transport, Nigerian Medical Associations exonerated self saying the persons that removed the kidneys were not Doctors but theater nurse, while a friend to the persons who removed the kidneys argued that Abubakar has kidney problem when he was born 25 years ago and the medical personnel that did the operation removed the two kidneys in error.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Bauchi State Chapter investigative Panel has disclosed that the person who allegedly removed the two kidneys of the 25 year old Abubakar is not a medical doctor.
Chairman of the Panel, Dr Magaji Dachi who disclosed this when he submitted a report to the State Chairman of NMA over the removal of the two kidneys of the patient in Bauchi said “the removal of the two kidneys of the patient at an operation in a private clinic was performed not by a doctor, not under the supervision of a doctor, not under the authority of any doctor and not with the knowledge of the Medical Director of the clinic , the operation was carried out by two theatre nurses working in the clinic”
Dr Dachi said their committee has condemned the act hoping that judicial action would bring an end to unnecessary misadventures on human lives in the state, adding that the NMA as the professional body of all doctors cannot afford to watch and keep silent on this.
Receiving the report, the Chairman of the State’s NMA, Dr Yusuf Abdu Misau advised the people to know the type of doctors they will patronise since there are about 400 qualified doctors serving in government and private health institutions in the state and over 35,000 NMA members across the country.
Yusuf said the union would implement all the committee’s recommendations in earnest and pledged to deal with any member of the union found wanting.
He commended the State Government and the Police for their intervention into the case and urged them to maintain the tempo. The life of Abubakar, the only son of his father remains in a hanging balance between death and life, except a quick action is taking to remedy the situation.