This story is very personal to me because I know the victim quite closely. I regard him as a close friend and brother and have known him for about a decade.
Wale Okewale aka Walata as we fondly call him and I had spoken just before the lockdown and we both discussed plans to open a branch of his buka/restaurant, “Kakaaki” in London just before the Covid-19 pandemic began.
The lockdown began and we all just got on with life as best as we could. He in Nassarawa, Nigeria and I in London, United Kingdom.
One fine day, I stumbled on a post from Wale stating that “I had just finished dialysis and about to eat a meal.”
Having known Walata for a while, I had believed that as usual he was just “taking the piss” because he is well known for his humour and sarcasm.
That was last year.
Fast forward to a few months ago when he reached out to tell me about his ordeal. I wept like a baby.
Walata had been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure aka hypertension since 2004 and had been attending the National Hospital in Abuja since then for regular check ups.
He said, in January 2020 his BP spiked and he had to be rushed to hospital.
He ended up at the National Hospital Abuja and despite several interventions, the BP would just not come down.
Wale said, while at the National Hospital in Abuja, he was informed by staff on duty that, there was a specialist named Dr Galadanchi whom at that time was about the only one who could help.
All attempts to reach Dr Galadanchi proved abortive as his phones were “unreachable”.
Walata’s BP remained extraordinarily high while he was being pumped with “meds” that were obviously not helping issues.
Wale was to later find out that “the messiah” Dr Galadanchi was busy consulting in a Private Hospital called “Caroline Clinic” also in Abuja.
It was an emergency, so Dr Galadanchi had to be tracked down to the private clinic where N22,000 had to be paid as consultancy fees for just 10 minutes.
Wale said that, Galadanchi told him that the ‘meds” he was on, would not work, he however prescribed something else for him, the “meds” prescribed worked like magic and dropped his extraordinarily high BP.
He was forced to ask Dr Galadanchi why he totally abandoned his duty post at the National Hospital despite being well paid.
Galadanchi answered, blaming the ‘system’.
Truly the “meds” prescribed by Galadanchi worked magic in bringing down Walata’s high BP, but unfortunately his kidney had already been damaged as a result of his BP remaining high for a prolonged period.
As a result, Walata has since February 2020 spent well over N8million on dialysis at a rate of N400,000 monthly.
Walata’s quality of life has been greatly affected by this incident.
He posted this in the fundraising group platform:
“At a point in January last year when I was very sick, I was taken to FMC keffi and after thorough examination, my createnine level was 2700 and urea 28 and they had to refer me to Gwagwalada or National hospital Abuja.“
“I told them I have already been going to national hospital so I was moved to national hospital Abuja in late January and on getting there, the doctors there recognized me as their patient.”
“I was on wheelchair because as usual, there was no bed space, I had to tell my wife to go back to keffi as nobody was home with the kids at that time.”
“At about 1am, one of the nurses felt pity and said let him go and try to get a bed for me because they found me dozing on the wheelchair.”
“He went to ward 6 and later got me in. Now listen to this, ward 6 is a 6 bed room, inside the ward, only 2 beds are occupied by real patients, the remaining 4 beds are being used by relatives and friends of sick people.”
“He now had to beg one of them, before I could get a place to lay down, I was there for 24hrs unattended to by the time my tests results came out my createnine level had reached 2700 and I was already going blurry, at that point I was told their machines for dialysis were all down so that was how I landed at Caroline kidney center, then I had blown to around 112kg in weight.“
“The moment they saw the results they just tied my bum bum and started draining my blood to filter it and gave me tramadol injection to knock me out for 2 days I was off. I woke up and felt better because the waste I was carrying around had been removed.”
Wale has had to travel to Abuja from Nassarawa regularly to have this dialysis done.
He is still alive today because of his life savings, some revenue from his business and with the help of friends and family.
A few weeks ago friends and family members decided to quietly raise funds for him to have a transplant which was projected to cost about N16million.
Thank God for good friends and family, in just three weeks, N18m was raised surpassing the N16m target.
For Galadanchi and his type, they will continue to live normally but should we all fold our arms and allow them get away with this?
How many patients and their families have already died because of this type of greed and neglect?
How many more should we allow to die?
My answer is simple.
“No one must be allowed to suffer like this, because one greedy and selfish doctor who is a government employee and regularly paid, can abandon his duty post unchecked, while patients who need him are left in the hands of inexperienced staff.”
My anger stems from the fact that, Dr Galadanchi did not even need to be physically present, all he needed to do, was to make himself available via calls, WhatsApp or even text messages.
If he didn’t intentionally and for selfish gains make himself “incommunicado”, all he needed to do was to send the name of the drug that Walata needed to bring his extraordinarily high BP via the phone to the doctors on duty.
There is the very high tendency, that if he had done that, all these would probably have been averted.
It is however glaring that, Galadanchi knew that the only way he can make extra money, is to hide away and make sure patients at the government hospital do not have a choice but to consult him on private practice (PP).
Doctors like Galadanchi, have and will continue to cause death and destroy lives of patients and their families because of their selfishness and greed if not urgently checked.
This evil should not be allowed to continue.
There can be no excuse for this.