Friday, August 23, 2019 12:06 am
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
A 28- year-old – woman, Miss Rukiyat Afolabi, has alleged that surgeons at the University of Port Teaching Hospital removed her womb without her consent, thus rendering her unable to bear children for life.
Afolabi said she had gone to UPTH for delivery and had to undergo operation due to complication arising from the pregnancy when her womb was removed.
She said she was accompanied to the hospital by her lover and partner, who has since jilted her after he discovered that she can no longer bear children.
She said she lost her baby in the process of the surgeries due to delays by the University to attend to her on time as she was in an emergency situation having been under labour for somedays at a home of a local birth attendant that could not handle her case.
While narrating her ordeal, Afolabi claimed that she got to UPTH at 8 am, on the fateful day and after preliminary investigations, she was wheeled into the Theatre at 6 pm and had a successful surgery.
She said she was told after she regained consciousness that she had a stillbirth.
Afolabi added that she was never informed that she had lost her womb as well though she remained in the hospital for 19 days.
But she said she discovered that her womb was removed during the Caesarian operation eight months later when she was unable to menstruate and have sexual urges.
Afolabi added that she consulted three different medical doctors who confirmed after series of tests and scans that her womb(Uterus) has been removed and that the symptom she is experiencing is a common symptoms of the effect of Opherectomy being a complete form of Radical Hysterectomy, (a surgical operation that completely removes the Uterus) and that left her gravely frustrated and traumatized.
Counsel to Afolabi and Senior Partner of Lawyers for Justice International initiative(LAWJII), Modilyne Olowu, said the practice of radical Hysterectomy without the consent of the woman is against the African charter on Human and People’s Right, and as well as the extant provisions of the Conventions On The Elimination of all forms of ALL Of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Modilyne said what is worrisome is that the action was carried out not even by criminal elements or quacks, but by medical professionals.
She pointed out that the action amounts to gross medical negligence and a breach of the professional ethics of the Nigerian Medical Association, MMA and as enshrined in the Medical and Dental Practitioners Acts cap M8 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
She alleged that what was carried out on Rukayat was dispensed by persons who feel they have the power to play gods with human life or get to determine which body part is to be sacrificed without presenting same before the patient who has the actual rights over her body in line with the provisions of Article 7 of the International Convention on Civil on Civil And Political Rights.
Also speaking, another senior partner of Afolabi, Lawjii Gbenga Oladapo, called for the immediate suspension and revocation of the medical licenses of the medical practitioners that were involved in the nonconsensual and unauthorized surgical operation on Rukayat Afolabi, for their medical incompetence, and which led to the removal of her uterus.
He said, ‘’We also call for the arrest, arraignment and prosecution for criminal negligence and in the interest of justice with a view of redressing these violations occasioned by the medical team.”
When contacted the public relation officer of University of Port Harcourt Teaching hospital,l Elabha Meni said the hospital is aware of the accusation by Miss Rukuyat Afolabi.
Ms Elabha Meni stated the management of UPTH has investigated the case and found the allegations of Afolabi were mere tissues of lies, saying that “the doctors applied the highest standards of medical practices to save her life at the time she was rushed to the hospital in critical condition with the consent of her husband, Chinwendu”
The management of the hospital accused her of absconding from the hospital after managing her condition for 13 days without payment.
UPTH further said the management was ready to present all the evidence of to show that the doctors who treated Afolabi observed due diligence anywhere as it did to the Police some moths ago.