MAKING IT BETTER: My Own Personal Rant (2)… Think About How Your Behaviour Hurts Others

I have had so many wonderful and equally shocking experiences during my short stay in Nigeria to date. I am happy to say that the good far outweigh the bad simply because one good experience which generally involves some interaction with a fellow Nigerian leaves me with enough joy to internalise to cancel out several subsequent unpleasant encounters.

Having said that, there have been a couple of experiences that have left me reeling with rage, sadness and a genuine shock. I will share one with you.

I had the misfortune of watching up close and personal how it is possible for a person with a treatable illness to attend a National hospital and for intents and purposes to be allowed to die simply due to a combination of incompetence, cruelty and greed. I am sure what I witnessed will not be a surprise to many people and for some, will be ‘normal’. However as long as we are human beings we must never accept such occurrences as normal lest we reduce ourselves to less than human!

For someone to be rushed to the hospital with what could be a life threatening condition if not attended to appropriately and for the hospital staff to stand arms akimbo telling the family that no treatment will commence until forms are filled regardless of what the emergency is. I would even understand if the forms to be filled pertained to the patient’s condition. Rather it was all to do with forking out money for things that even the Doctors had not determined the patient needed because they had not examined the patient to determine the problem! The family and the patient just represented cash in the eyes of these people.

Take that aside, which is bad enough because all the time that is being wasted could be the difference between life and death for this patient. The part that I find reprehensible and I am simply unable to comprehend or forgive (I have to work on that), is the attitudes of the nurses and the hospital staff. The complete contempt at which they hold the patient and the families. I see no other way to describe their behaviour because aside from carrying out their duties as care givers which they completely abandoned and have no regard for, the looks and attitudes of total cruelty they showed to the most vulnerable despairing family members is beyond understanding.

As a mental health practitioner, I tried to get into the heads of these people to see if I could use my training to understand what might be the cause of their behaviour. I am convinced that they would never want anyone to treat their own loved ones in the same manner so what could be the reason for this level of cruelty and unkindness. I had a few thoughts on the matter and much as I still found my thoughts unacceptable as credible explanations, I wondered if other people had some views or a better understanding on this conundrum. Please feel free to add to this exploration.

I concluded that part of it was what some people describe as the Nigerian factor. It covers a range of bad, inexplicable behaviour! In this case I knew for a fact that if the family had come in throwing money, titles and their weight around the treatment would have been different. That to me is an abomination in a hospital.

My psychological explanation is the one that suggest that people who feel oppressed, who feel they have no control over their own lives, if given any power or put in positions of authority will transfer or project those feelings unto the people they have some or any type of power over. It can be described a s displaced anger or behaviour. It is suggested that unconsciously such people want others to feel their pain. While this makes some sense as far as academics and hypothesis are concerned, there are some situations where this must never be allowed to see the light of day and a hospital is one of those places!

Sadly the patient died within twenty four hours of being admitted. I know for a fact he shouldn’t have died if he was administered the treatment he required and deserved. How many countless people die needlessly everyday as a result of such carelessness and lack of regard for human life……

What is bad is bad as a Yoruba expression goes and we need to stop making excuses for what we know is wrong. There needs to be more outrage and condemnation from people who witness these atrocities. It doesn’t need to be only when you are personally affected that you raise alarm of show righteous indignation. We are all hurt and affected if a fellow human being is dehumanised. It chips away at our collective humanity. This is the sad state of the world, (which is a global village) we live in now

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4 Responses to MAKING IT BETTER: My Own Personal Rant (2)… Think About How Your Behaviour Hurts Others

  1. Olakunle Olajide December 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Good day ma’am. To be honest, i have been expecting an article on a rant so i clicked immediately i saw the title. But on reading the article, i just had a short reflection on what i went through with my mum (may her soul rest in peace) when she was in the emergency ward in a National hospital. She eventually played almost giving up the ghost before she was attended to. So i have felt this anger and this further shows that Nigeria is not doing a lot right.
    Ma’am most of these staffs are being owed months salary, some didn’t start up like that. I met some wonderful nurses and some were so unpleasant.
    Another point is that some people are not there for the value of the profession but for an escape route from the harshness of the economy.
    And like you rightly said some just want to inflict pain on others for reasons best known to them.
    Bottom line is the structure is bad and that is why i value this site because i can see a whole new Nigeria emerging starting from here.
    Thank you for this article ma’am, though touching but our reality.

  2. Femi Diipo December 14, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    This is the sad situation of health sector in Nigeria, where the life of the poor and lower class simply means nothing. Anytime you goto a public hospital you know it’s at your own peril and most of the health workers there give no damn about your life. Perhaps, this is borne through the fact that majority of those who studied related courses in Nigeria schools do that not because they want to save life but an easier way to find job and good pay. Sadly, Health has been completely monetized and the poor simply stand no chance in Nigeria hospitals

  3. Eric Onuoha December 19, 2017 at 10:34 am

    This is unfortunate. Most of our national hospitals don’t take human lives seriously. One day in one of the hospitals, I was waiting to see a doctor. While waiting, a sickle cell patient came, who was on crisis. He was in so much pain but because it wasn’t his appointment day, he wasn’t attached to. All other patients present and myself were surprised. Our national medical staff need to have proper orientation. They need to know they are there to save lives

  4. Lola Adeoye December 20, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    we have talked, talked and talked. But nothing will be done. Our system is rotten. Too rotten!


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