A 70-year-old woman, Mrs. Selma Ahmed, has indicted the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Kano State government for the death of her son-in-law.
Ahmed, in a viral audio obtained by PRNigeria, complained about how both the NCDC and Kano State government abandoned him as a result of suspected Coronavirus infection.
Reacting, Dr Chinwe Ochu, NCDC Head of Prevention, Programmes and Knowledge Management, NCDC, noted that response to infectious diseases outbreaks such as COVID-19 at sub-national levels was led by the states.
Ochu explained that NCDC supports states in preparedness and response to disease outbreaks, including capacity building, hands-on training, guidance, and coordination.
“NCDC does not have an office in Kano nor in any state, however NCDC supported states in setting up public health emergency operations centres run by states to ensure effective coordination of a public health response.
“Samples have been collected from close contacts of the diseased for testing,” Ochu added.
The NCDC, however, assured that Ahmed’s allegations were being investigated.
Sabitu Shu’aibu, Kano COVID-19 Response Team, said the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) was investigating the man’s death.
He added that the NCDC was yet to supply testing facilities and that its phone lines have not been operational since three days due to the closure of the Kano laboratory.
Sabitu assured that the AKTH and Murtala Muhammad hospital would be ready for sample collection on Sunday.
The full transcript of her audio below:
“I am Selma Ahmed, speaking from Abuja. I have a problem with Kano government and NCDC Kano. My son-in-law has been sick since Monday. My daughter called me and told me it was high fever and typhoid. I asked if she was sure it was typhoid fever, because, somebody will say ‘it’s typhoid fever’ and from there he will start coughing and then sneezing. She said she was sure, that they had given him drugs, and they were home taking the drugs.
“On Tuesday, I called her, I said ‘how is he feeling,’ she said he was getting better, little by little. I said ok, ‘since he is getting better no problem.’
”Yesterday, around 3 am, she called me and said he could no longer talk and his breathing was high. I told her the problem could be COVID-19. In COVID-19, if somebody has fever, he cannot talk properly; he is coughing, what do you expect?
“Please rush him to the hospital. Have you called ‘NCDC? She said yes, that they had been calling since last night, and that all the phone lines were not going through. Somebody gave them another number, they were calling the number, it was ringing and nobody was responding to the call. So, I decided to call the NCDC in Abuja. When I called, they said they would get back to me, that they would call the Kano branch and tell them what was happening.
“They asked me where he was. I said he had been taken to a private hospital in Kano. When they took him to the international hospital in Kano, they admitted him and put oxygen. After about an hour, another doctor came in and referred them to Aminu Kano, that he was not responding to the oxygen. I knew that the doctor was looking for a way to drive them from the hospital, but I don’t blame him.
“So, getting to Aminu Kano hospital, they put him on oxygen again. I called this Abuja NCDC again, I asked them how far, because, they had left the international hospital and were in Aminu Kano Hospital. NCDC said they would go there. Ahn ahn!! Every 30 minutes, I will call the NCDC because the ones in Kano were not responding. He kept telling me that they would soon go there. When the thing was getting out of hands, I called this man, please tell me the truth, what is happening?
“Then he told me that the NCDC in Kano had been shut down. I said you know they have been shut down and you are telling me they will soon go there, why did you continue playing with my intelligence, he said sorry madam. So I called Raypower radio, I told them all, I was live on Raypower around 4’o clock and complained to them. So, I am holding the Kano government and the NCDC Kano, responsible for the death.
“What is paining me most now is that my heart is broken into pieces. What will happen to my grandchildren, when there is no NCDC in Kano?’ Please I want people to come to my aid. I am dying, I’m an old woman. I don’t want my children to die in Kano, no NCDC in Kano! Please people should come to my aid ooo!! They should come and help me. I’m dying!
“They should not let my children in Kano die. NCDC in Abuja, please take note, FCT minister help me ooo, I am shouting to everybody.
If you hear this one please help me, so they can go and test my children and grandchildren. Please help me that’s all I have to say. My heart is broken into pieces. I am an old woman, my age is 70 years. Please help me, the general public. If there is anything anybody can do, they should do for me. Thank you everybody.”