A four-year-old child, who is battling with cerebral palsy has been abandoned at the Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital, Lagos State. It was learnt that her unidentified mother had sometime last year left the child with her grandmother, identified as Nike Owoyeni, and fled.
Owoyeni took the victim to the hospital around December, 2014, where she was reportedly treated and discharged the same day.
It was gathered that Owoyeni, after leaving the hospital, headed to Ogba and dumped her granddaughter beside a parked truck. The child was said to have been seen by a resident, who took her back to the facility.
This happened 7 months ago and since then, neither the child’s mother nor the grandmother has shown up since she was admitted.
Efforts to reach Owoyeni, who claimed that she resided in the Alagbado area, proved futile as a phone number she gave the hospital reportedly indicated ‘wrong number.’
The child was seen at the Children Ward of the hospital on Wednesday with a straw through her mouth.
A senior official at the Social Welfare Department of the hospital, who identified herself only as Obilana, said the victim’s condition was very critical when she was brought, adding that the hospital management were doing their best to save her life.
“She is suffering from cerebral palsy. She should be four or five years old, but looked extremely skinny. Her body was very stiff when she was brought here last year. But we have recorded some improvement. She also had a body odour, which has gone now. She has started looking fresh. We attend to her every day. She is fed through the straw in her mouth.”
A nurse, who spoke to Punch correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the child needed to be given a special treatment.
“This is the first time a child will be abandoned in this hospital. We have been doing our best for the child, but she needs a special placement, where she can have access to adequate treatment. In this case, the ministry of health needs to intervene.”
The hospital’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Adeola Abimbola, said the hospital was making efforts to ensure there was a rapid improvement on the child’s condition. She also enjoined parents not to give up on their wards in the face of health challenges.
“The first time she was brought here by her grandmother, we treated her and she was discharged on the same day. It was a man that later brought her back from where she was dumped.
“The woman (grandmother) did not specify where she lives in Alagbado and that is why it is difficult for us to locate her. We later discovered that the phone number she gave is fake. We have been doing all we can for the child and we are trying to get her a special placement.
“No matter how serious the ailment may be, dumping a child at a place or abandoning him/her in a hospital should never be an option.”Punch