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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Human Rights Writers Demand N10 Billion Compensation Payment for Tragic Elevator Death of Doctor

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LAGOS, Nigeria — The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has called for the Lagos State Government to pay a N10 billion compensation to the family of Dr Vwaere Diaso, who tragically lost her life in a preventable elevator accident at General Hospital, Odan, Lagos.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA conveyed sympathy to Dr Diaso’s family and colleagues, condemning the visible negligence of the hospital’s management, which is owned and operated by the state government.

“The untimely and painful death of Dr Vwaere Diaso is avoidable and heart-wrenching—our sympathies to her family and colleagues. May the good Lord comfort them over this irreparable loss,” Onwubiko said.

Dr. Diaso was reportedly trapped in a faulty elevator for over 40 minutes, leading to her demise, as no blood was available to resuscitate her after her rescue.

The incident has sparked outrage, with the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, declaring a five-day mourning period in Lagos and calling on doctors in other government-owned hospitals to scale down activities as a mark of respect.

Furthermore, hospitals including General Hospital, Odan, Lagos; Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos; and Massey Street Children’s Hospital, Lagos have been instructed to embark on an indefinite strike.

Beyond expressions of sympathy and mourning, HURIWA has demanded accountability from the Lagos State Government.

Onwubiko stated, “Beyond setting up empty inquiry panels to probe the already known cause of the young lady’s death, the state government must offer a public apology to the late doctor’s family for failing her by not fixing the elevator in one of its hospitals.”

The organization also called on the NMA to stage peaceful protests against criminal negligence in publicly owned hospitals, and the associated risks medical professionals face.

“The NMA should demand N10 billion compensation from the Lagos State Government to the family of the doctor killed due to criminal poor maintenance of a public facility in a public general hospital,” Onwubiko urged.

HURIWA has threatened legal action if the compensation is not paid within 48 hours, reflecting the growing frustration with a lack of accountability for systemic failings.

The tragic incident has brought to the fore the urgent need for infrastructure improvements and maintenance in Nigeria’s public health facilities.

As the legal battle looms, many hope that the incident will serve as a turning point, leading to tangible changes in the safety and working conditions for healthcare professionals in the country.

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