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Anguish, anger trail death of medical doctor inside hospital elevator, as gov orders investigation 

Ayodele Olalere

The July 31, 2023 death of a young Nigerian medical doctor, Dr Vwaere Diaso, in an elevator accident in Lagos has sparked anger and condemnation against the government.

Dr Diaso had used an elevator from the 10th floor of the government-owned Lagos Island General Hospital, Odan when it crashed to the ground and she suffered fatal injuries.

The young doctor was reportedly set to complete her housemanship in two weeks at the hospital. However, on the fateful day, the young doctor had used the hospital elevator in a bid to take delivery of her meal from a dispatch rider when it crashed from the 10th floor to the ground.

Though she was immediately rushed to the emergency ward of the hospital, she passed away despite the medical team’s efforts.

Her death has elicited anger among her friends, family members and many Nigerians who blamed the government and the hospital management for negligence in repairing the faulty elevator despite being aware of its fault.

They also condemned the inability of the hospital to allegedly got her much-needed blood, saying, ‘Nigeria has happened to her.”

“Are we going to wait till someone dies before things are done properly?” the Twitter account for the association of all Lagos State Government Employed Medical and Dental Doctors asked.

Many trainee doctors, in protest, wore black dresses and displayed placards to mourn her death.
The system is rigged against young doctors!!!” “Let doctors breathe. Dr Ovwaere couldn’t breathe.” “A painful death”. “It could have been me”  and “All we are saying, give us justice,” were some of the messages displayed by the protesters.

Others expressed their anger on social media. One Twitter user, Big Amara, wrote “A doctor who had just 2 weeks to complete her housemanship just died in a general hospital (Odan, Lagos Island) due to poor management and negligence!!! The elevator she was in, fell from the 10th floor to the ground! The video was so painful to watch,” Amara tweeted.

Another Twitter user  @_Eddieee321 also wrote: “Your death could have been avoided. I hate this … country.
He further wrote: “Why should my baby girl fall from the 10th storey floor to the ground floor in an elevator in the hospital? Why would she die like that? Why? She doesn’t deserve it!!! Everyone involved in this from the hospital management board to the elevator company, my God will judge you. The blood of an innocent child is on your hands and you’ll duly reap the reward.

Rinu Oduala, a  rights activist also wrote: In 2015, I was an intern at the General Hospital on Lagos Island, Lagos in the laboratory section.

Blood transfusion services was a unit I almost never left. It is shocking to now hear Dr Vwaere. needed blood from the bank in a time of crisis and there was no blood??? In a whole general hospital?

@Worldbiofile wrote: They wasted that lady yet they are saying people should not travel to better place.
Dr Dave@Doprime: I keep asking myself, were there no “walking donors” to salvage the situation? Even when I was in the NE fighting BHTs, I would always make use of my “walking donors “cos I had about 50 soldiers screened and ready on standby. Saved a lot of GSW casualties before reaching Maimalari.

Meanwhile, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident. In a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, the governor mourned the late doctor, describing her death as shocking.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the tragic loss of Dr Vwaere Diaso, a dedicated medical professional whose life was taken due to a mechanical failure within the elevator at the Doctors’ quarters of the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island. It is distressing to think that such a promising young doctor had her life cut short in such a devastating manner.

“As a parent myself, I cannot help but feel the pain and sorrow that Dr Diaso’s loved ones must be experiencing during this difficult time. My heart goes out to her parents, family members, friends, and colleagues who are grieving this profound loss.

“To the Nigeria Medical Association, the Medical Guild, and all doctors in Lagos State, I extend my deepest sympathies. Losing a fellow healthcare professional is a tremendous loss for the entire medical community.

“In light of this tragedy, I have taken immediate action to initiate a thorough investigation into the cause of the mechanical failure. It is my sincere commitment that this investigation will be conducted with utmost transparency and fairness, leaving no room for any biases or favouritism.

“Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this heartbreaking incident. May Dr Vwaere Diaso’s soul rest in eternal peace,” the statement stated.