They went from treating this young woman for ulcer to managing her symptoms... while they awaited her death.
During the week, the plight of Ahmed Mayowa Shukurat, a cancer patient touched the hearts of Nigerians. The hashtag #savemayowa trended as Nigerians far and wide united to contribute in hopes of saving the life of this young woman.
In two to three days, over $100,000 was raised via a GoFundMe page while about N30M was believed to have been deposited into her local bank account.
But things turned sour when popular actress and drama queen Toyin Aimahku, who once spearheaded the cause to save Mayowa, later turned against it, claiming it was a scam.
And popular blogger Linda Ikeji, alleged that the family had absconded from their home, a post that's no longer available on her site.
As far as I'm concerned, the issue here's not if #savemayowa is a scam or not, but the inadequacy of the Nigerian medical system.
This young woman was bounced from one hospital to another for over a year and none of them could correctly diagnose what was wrong with her? It's a shame, a big shame.
About 70,000 people are diagnosed with cancer yearly in Nigeria, yet LASUTH and LUTH, both of which are teaching hospitals cannot correctly diagnose cancer.
What then are they teaching? What sort of doctors are they churning out yearly? Medical science has advanced past the treatment of malaria, which seems to be the specialty of most of our doctors.
As Mayowa’s family said in a statement it released “we have been misled by the so called top hospitals in Nigeria and have only helped to make the matter worse”, and this includes the acclaimed Reddington hospital which also treated her for ulcer.
Common sense tells you that if you misdiagnose a patient or your patient is not responding well to treatment, even after changing their medication, that your diagnosis could be wrong.
Does not correct medical practice dictate that when you have a situation you do not understand, you refer your patient to a specialist?
Yet they went from treating this young woman for ulcer, to managing her symptoms, in other words they were making her as comfortable as they could while they awaited her death.
At the foundation of this rot in our medical houses, is our archaic educational system. Graduating doctors are being taught systems and techniques no longer relevant and long forgotten by their western counterparts.
It took only a few minutes for foreign trained Nigerian doctor to detect that this poor woman was misdiagnosed and prescribed drugs that immediately gave her some relief. This shows we need a complete overhaul of the medical institutions in Nigeria.
The government needs to send our doctors out for special courses in western worlds or even India, to learn what their counterparts around the world are doing.
They need to learn what the new techniques are, the latest machines, current advancements and researches being carried out.
They will then bring back and share this knowledge with their colleagues back home.
If the government does this regularly and equips our hospitals, the current medical tourism which Nigerians embark on yearly will reduce drastically.
President Buhari will no longer have to go to London whenever he has an ear infection, but will rather call on one of these well trained doctors.
It's also time for doctors and nurses in Nigeria to be held accountable for their errors. They should no longer be allowed to act with impunity.
If Mayowa was diagnosed correctly from the get go, the cancer would have been curbed and not have spread to her other organs.
The doctors involved in this case should be investigated and if found wanting, prosecuted.