Alleged negligence: VC of UNICAL reacts after a 300L student died at the school’s health centre over N200 medical card
The University of Calabar erupted in crisis on Saturday morning January 28, as students protested the death of their colleague who was allegedly denied medical care for not having the university’s medical consulting card.
The 300-level student of the Department of Library and Information Science, Precious Mhenuter, died on Saturday, four hours after arriving at the school’s medical centre.
It was gathered that the 22-year-old student fell ill at her hostel and was rushed to the medical centre for treatment but was allegedly left unattended to for hours until she eventually gave up the ghost.
This sparked outrage on campus as the students protested the avoidable death of their colleague due to alleged negligence.
An eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, narrated the sequence of events that led to the untimely death of Precious.
“Precious got sick this morning by 4am and we rushed her to our school’s medical center. We got there by 5am and they asked us to go and buy a card for N200 but we couldn’t get the card because the people at record weren’t around. So they didn’t attend to her. They left her even as she was in pains,” the witness narrated.
“She eventually died at 7am, two hours after we got there. And they took her to the mortuary at about 8am, without even contacting her parents.”
“The unfortunate incident angered students who took to the street to demand justice for their colleague.”
Reacting to the incident, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof Florence Obi, directed the Medical Board of the institution to urgently conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of a student.
The order for investigation is contained in a release signed on Sunday in Calabar the university’s registrar, Mr Gabriel Egbe.
Egbe said the VC as well as the entire institution, value the lives of students and are devastated by the painful loss reported at the Medical Centre of the institution.
“The Medical Board is to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deceased’s admission at the University Medical Centre,” the statement read.
“The Medical Board is also to determine if the death could have been prevented, and examine the roles played by the individual workers of the Medical Centre in managing the patient.
“The Board is also expected to establish the veracity or otherwise of allegations of carelessness or negligence of duty among the staff members of the hospital in handling the patient and advise management on how to avoid a reoccurrence of similar situations in the future. The report of the Board is expected to reach the VC on or before February 2, 2023,” Egbe said.