Home Health Boy, 13, Dies From Snake Bite

Boy, 13, Dies From Snake Bite

6 min read

…After Battor Hospital Refused Him Admission

Death has laid its icy hands on a 13-year-old male pupil of Mepe Presbyterian Primary School in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region, Joe Egbitu, who was bitten by snake.

The worrying development, according to information available, followed the reported failure on the part of the doctors and nurses at the Battor Roman Catholic Hospital to treat the victim of venomous snakebite.

The Egbitu family from Mepe told this paper Wednesday June 5, 2019, after Joe Egbitu’s untimely death that the boy was refused treatment because the family could not identify the type of snake that bit him to the nurses at the hospital.

Per the nurses’ claim, the type of snake would have determined what kind of medication to be administered to 13-year-old Joe Egbitu.

As a result, scores of students and other concerned people are calling on the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), as a matter of emergency to launch investigations into the matter.

According to the father of the deceased, Mr Tawiah Amedzor Egbetu, the boy, after he was bitten was immediately rushed to the hospital but to their surprise, they were denied admission by some four nurses, hence the call on the two regulatory institutions to intervene in the matter so that those four nurses. 

The father stated that that his son was denied admission on the excuse that the hospital was in short supply of the Anti-Snake Venom (ASV), which was needed to save his life.

The distraught father revealed that after long plead and struggle with the four nurses on duty they returned the boy back on a motorbike to the Egbetu village to face his fate.

Joe Egbitu, just like an estimated 94,000 to 125,000 people across the globe that receive fatal snakebites and could not survive, died around the 1:30 am on Wednesday June 5, 2019 and was buried on Friday June 7, 2019.

To Mr Amedzor Egbitu, he is still in a state of shock with the attitude put up by the four nurses to administer their core mandate of giving treatment and care, and blamed them for their “wrong behaviour and professional negligence.”

“Earlier when we rushed Joe to the hospital, the four nurses stood their grounds and told us that they have only one anti-snake venom drug, but would need three pieces of the drugs to treat the boy.”

“We were also being informed by the nurses that each of the drug cost GH¢ 350.00, and we should pay for the drugs.”

“In this development, I explain to the nurses that I do not have enough money on me, since it was emergency situation, which even occurred at the night. I pleaded with the nurses to treat my son so that we settle the medical treatment bill afterwards,” Mr Amedzor Egbitu revealed.

As a result, with the Battor hospital being the only facility in the area, he stated that the nurses issued a referral letter to him to take the son to the hospital in Ada in the Greater Region, which was quite a distance to cover under such dire conditions.

According to Mr, Amedzor Egbitu, a decision was then taken under the circumstance to rush the victim back to the village for alternative traditional healing but lack not being on their part, the boy eventually died in early hours of the Wednesday morning, around 1:30am.

Mr Amedzor Egbitu decried the pains in which his son died, after all attempts by the family and loved ones to get him medical treatment from the health workers failed.

He expressed his disappointment and dissatisfaction with Ghana’s health system, adding that the family will, however, not push for legal action but pray no other person go through such misery again.

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