A doctor that was to operate on a pregnant woman was allegedly held by policemen enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown on the Airport Road, Ikeja, Lagos State which could be said to have taken the life of the woman and her unborn baby.
It was gathered that the surgeon was held for about one hour, as appeals that she was on an emergency call, fell on deaf ears but after she was released the doctor got to the hospital and discovered that both mother and baby were dead. It was discovered that the incident happened on Monday, August 31 at the LUTH, Idi Araba, Surulere.
It was said the female doctor broke down in tears after discovering she could not save the victim and her baby. A witness said, “The doctor is a woman. In fact, she was also ill and was placed on a drip at home when she was called about the emergency.
“Because her car was bad, she got a cabman to take her to the hospital. She left her house around past 9pm.
“Around 10.15pm, they got to the under bridge around Airport Road, where they met the policemen. They had been stopped by other policemen before they got to that spot. But when she showed them her ID card, they allowed her to pass.
“But these ones refused. After she showed one of them her ID card and said she was on an emergency to see a patient who was between life and death, the policeman ordered the driver to park. He took her ID card and asked her to prove she was on an emergency.
“She went to meet another member of the team and begged him that she needed to leave immediately, and that the life of her patient was at risk. She was in a nightgown; she could not even change when she got the call. But the second policeman shunned her.
“The policeman said she was foolish and she was a prostitute, because a doctor would never dress the way she was dressed. She begged them and explained the circumstances, but they refused to listen and demanded the emergency letter.”
It was gathered that after keeping the female doctor for about one hour, she was released but was already late, as the patient had died. The patient who was initially admitted to a private facility, where attempts were made to deliver her of the baby but when the case got complicated, she was referred to LUTH, where she died after suffering internal bleeding.
A source said “There were four policemen on duty that night. Only one was on mufti. Their tag was not visible because they wore overall. They saw the drip in the doctor’s hand; she was risking her life to save another person, but they never allowed her,”. The source said efforts by the doctor to call a phone number on the policemen’s van were abortive. The number, 09051614394, identified by True Caller as OPS Office Air, was not reachable for about three days
Medical workers, journalists and other essential service providers were exempted from the curfew the police enforced from 10pm till 4am. Mr Kelechi Otuneme, spokesman for LUTH promised to react after speaking to a consultant at the hospital.
The Public Relations Officer of the Airport Police Command, Alabi Joseph, expressed shock at the incident and promised to investigate it. A senior police officer, said the doctor could raise the suspicion of the cops if she was not properly dressed.