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Power outage disrupts activities at LUTH

10 January 2013, 10:07

Lagos - Activities at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, have been disrupted for two days due to power outage, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

NAN correspondents, who visited the hospital on Tuesday and Wednesday report that many health personnel were unable to carry out their duties including medical tests.

NAN reports that there was slight improvement on Wednesday as the hospital management was forced to use its backup generating set to power some essential sections. Some doctors and health workers who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that activities were at a low ebb at the hospital due to the outage. Mrs Geraldine Popoola, an out-patient, told NAN at the records department that one of the attending officers with poor sight was forced to use torchlight to perform her duty.

"The records department is very dark and it is really frustrating for the woman to take my details. “Since the room was dark, it took her longer time than usual to manage to write my details in such condition,’’ she said. Also, Mrs Kuburat Taiwo, relative of a patient on admission, said that an operation that ought to have been carried out on her sister early in the morning was suspended. “The medical team handling her case told us that they could not go on with the operation because there is no blood at the blood bank as a result of the power outage.

 “They claimed that the blood kept in the bank had been evacuated and taken to a safe place where there is stable electricity,” she said. A senior official at the hospital, who pleaded anonymity, said that power outage had been the norm in the hospital for a while.

The official said that this had on many occasions stalled essential services. According to the official, many surgeries scheduled to be performed on some patients on critical conditions were cancelled as a result of the power outage. "We have been experiencing this for some time now. “And, anytime there is a power outage, it makes the performance of our duties difficult or impossible.

 "We have the issue of the shortage of blood in the hospital because blood needs to be preserved with electricity. "A power outage caused the blood to go bad and we cannot perform any surgical operation without the availability of blood, in case of emergency. “As am talking to you now, there is no blood in the blood bank, because there is no electricity to preserve the blood," the source said.

When contacted, Prof. Akin Osibogun, Chief Medical Director of the hospital, said, ``To be realistic, power in Nigeria is epileptic". According to him, Nigeria is a developing country. "We have national challenges when it comes to power supply. ``As hospital, we have generating sets that power principal service areas in the hospital. ``But, the generators cannot work 24 hours.

We must leave them to rest for sometime, otherwise, they will breakdown. ``If you ask patients to pay for diesel to power the generators then, it would raise the cost of services and we may able to run the generators for 24 hours. ``But, if we increase the cost, it would affect some people who cannot afford the increased cost of services,” he said. Osibogun said that the hospital's management was trying its best to serve the patients.

He said, “People should be realistic and stop discouraging our efforts with their complaints.

``For 4,000 megawatts to serve a country of 150 million people, that’s a very great challenge and we are doing our best to work within that context.”

NAN

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