The corpse of a 12-year-old girl, Glory Ekeleyede has been held by the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) over the inability of her parents to offset the accumulated hospital bill.
Ekeleyede was said to have died in the hospital on July 15, 2022, after battling an illness, which the cost of treatment raked up to N400,000.
Speaking about the situation, bereaved father, Mr Samson Ekeleyede, 66, lamented that his family’s inability to pay for the care of treatment forced the hospital to seize the remains of his late daughter.
He explained that his daughter’s ailment jeopardize the family fortune, as they were forced to borrow to pay hospital bills and other sundry expenses.
Samson noted that his family barely has enough to feed, as his wife is a petty trader and the produces from his farming business were all used to expend on the deceased while she was being taken care of.
He added that they had pleaded with the management of the hospital to bear with them and give them more time to gather
the money, but they refused.
“I learnt tailoring but that is not what I am doing. I am doing small jobs outside to feed my children. My wife sells tomatoes and pepper in the market and that is how we have been managing,” he said.
On the effort he had made since the death of the child, Ekeleyede said “the child died on the 15th of July and since then she has been in the mortuary.
“I went to plead with them; they said it’s not their making. They said I have to pay. They said they used oxygen and that is why the money is high. You used oxygen; the oxygen did not work.
“If the child is alive now, it’s another thing. But they said till I pay, they will not release her body to us to bury. I have been going there, but they refused.
“I told one of my fathers in the church. He was very touched and he wrote a letter to the government. He said I should take it to the office of the deputy governor.
“That time the governor was on leave; he was the one acting. The day I took it there was when governor Obaseki even returned from his leave. I gave it to the PRO.
“That is the person my father in the church said I should give it to. I think he also mentioned it to the wife of the deputy governor. Since then, we have been waiting, but nothing has happened”.
When contacted on the matter, the Public Relations Officer of UBTH, Mr Uwaila Joshua, said “There’s presumption that when you receive care, you are to pay for it.”
This article was originally published on Naija News