By James Sowole
Activities at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owo, Ondo State, were yesterday paralysed for many hours as nurses at the health facilities staged a peaceful protest over assault on three of their colleagues by relatives of an alleged COVID-19 patient.
The patient was said to have died last Sunday at the emergency ward but the relatives pounced on the nurses in the hospital blaming “their care free attitude for the death.”
Sources said the three nurses are currently receiving treatment following injuries inflicted on them.
The protesting nurses said they have withdrawn their services until the management provides adequate security for them.
The Chairman of the nurses, Mr. Francis Ajibola, condemned the attack on his colleagues, describing it as barbaric attitude of some patients’ relatives. He said the management must provide adequate security for them.
According to him, “A critically ill patient was brought to the hospital two days ago, and was suspected of COVID-19 with severe respiratory distress.
“The patient was brought too late, but the nurses and doctors tried all they could do to place the patient on oxygen but at around 4a.m. last Sunday, the patient died because the situation was worse, and had affected the respiratory system.
“You know, COVID-19 is dangerous especially with patients with underlying ailment, so the patient died and the children of the patient said that the patient should not have died.
“We felt sorry for them. We care for life but we cannot give life. We only care, but they refused to understand that.
“They took to violence, brutalising nurses, dragging nurses on the ground, pull off their hair, fractured their bones and stepping on them.
“This is very embarrassing, and nobody would ever support that kind of barbaric attitude.
“That’s why we are just making the solemn demand. We are not fighting the management, but appealing to them to provide adequate security for our members so that the nurse can come back to work.
“We are not on strike; we just withdrew the services of our members until security is provided, and those who perpetrated the act should be prosecuted in order to serve as deterrent to others. That’s just our simple demand.”
The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Liasu Ahmed, who confirmed the incident, debunked the report that the hospital has been shut down.
Ahmed added that an investigation has been launched into the attack on the nurses.