Health & Relationships

Documentary, ‘Failed by Angels’, a wake-up call to healthcare professionals — NGO

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The Centre for the Right to Health, an NGO, has described the documentary titled `Failed by Angels’ as a wake-up call to healthcare professionals.

The Chief Executive Officer of the centre, Dr Stella Iwuagwu, stated this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Iwuagwu stated that every human has a right to healthcare and that the right should be respected by healthcare professionals.

“So the documentary `Failed by Angels’ is really about giving patients a voice and highlighting what they go through.

“Health professionals are ‘angels’ to many of us in our moments of despair.

“God will not come down to us (literally); He sends those angels, but some of them turn their backs on us.

“They fail us, because they are either busy with their phones or doing something else and they end up leaving pads and other dangerous objects in people’s tummies.

“They either give wrong medication to patients or they don’t pay attention and
at the end people die unnecessarily.

“That’s what the documentary is all about,’’ she said.

Iwuagwu further said that the documentary highlights the importance of report mechanism and the need for redress and accountability.

She said that the documentary was produced to sensitise people to the need to make health
professionals accountable for their deeds while on duty.

“You have right to privacy, confidentially, dignity, and emergency treatment, among many other things.

“Many times, we go to hospitals and are not told the name of drugs or medicines given to us to consume.

“This has nothing to do with level of education.

“People go to the hospital feeling they are not powerful and also feeling that the healthcare professionals are more powerful than they are.

“Even when we have voice, we lose it.

“So it’s not just an NGO thing; to what extent are the health professionals holding themselves accountability?

“To what extent are our religious leaders playing their part, because all these health professionals go to church and mosque every day.

“I want to broaden the conversation; I want people to realise that I might be a victim today, and tomorrow it could be you or even the health professionals.

“I am a nurse; when am down, the system is not going to change, because a nurse has been affected. No! you will still meet the same unethical, inefficient and uncompassionate system,’’ she stressed.

According to her, health professionals have a code of ethics, which they should adhere strictly to.

She recommended punishment for any health professional, who fails to abide by the oath of ethic as it is only the victims and their surviving relatives that suffer the consequences of the callousness and carelessness of healthcare providers.

“I want us to start asking questions; let the people in charge of providing healthcare services be accountable.

“Lawyers, journalists, medical professionals, judges and law enforcement agencies need to wake up to this call and ensure that our healthcare facilities are not converted to abattoirs,” she said.

NAN reports that the documentary was Premiered in Abuja in December. (NAN)

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