• Victim misses JSS exams
Olaleye Aluko, Abuja
Thirteen-year-old boy, Akeem Saheed (pseudonym), a pupil of Command Secondary School, Suleja, Niger State, has yet to recover from the effects of a drug overdose, allegedly given to him by a nurse at the school’s sickbay.
Our correspondent, who visited Saheed on Saturday, observed that the boy still suffered from burnt skin, blisters, red eyes and bleeding lips, despite spending 19 days at the Kubwa General Hospital, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Saheed, who could barely speak, told our correspondent that he wanted the nurse to be sanctioned because of other pupils in the school.
Our correspondent learnt that Saheed, whose family hails from Oyo State, on Sunday, April 30, approached the nurse at the sickbay and complained of “running a temperature”, after which the nurse, whose name had yet to be ascertained, gave him three tablets to take as first aid.
Some minutes later after the boy had gone to his hostel, rashes reportedly appeared on his body, which were later followed by blisters and swollen eyes.
The boy was said to have rushed back to the sickbay.
It was gathered that Saheed was evenutally referred to the General Hospital, Kubwa area in Abuja on Sunday, May 1, where his parents were told that the boy was suffering from overdose.
Saheed spent 19 days at the hospital, and was discharged on Friday.
When our correspondent visited him on Saturday, his eyes were still red and he had some blisters, although the doctors assured that they were no more life threatening.
Saheed, who noted that he could not complete his examination because of his reaction to the drug, said the school should discipline the nurse because of other school pupils.
He said, “It was on a Sunday. I stayed in the school hostel. I was not feeling well and I went to the sickbay. They gave me drugs and I returned to the hostel. I came back later in the evening when I noticed that my eyes were red and itching me. The nurse there gave me three tablets again. I started seeing rashes on my body in the night.
“On Monday, I went back to the sickbay and asked why my parents had not been informed of my state of health. That was when they contacted my parents.
“The sickness affected my exams. I sat for some papers, but could not finish the others. What pains me is that they are still lying that I was not feeling fine before I came to the school. But if I was not healthy, the school would not admit me, because one of the clinical officers certified me healthy when I registered. I want the nurse to be disciplined.”
The boy’s mother, who does not want her name in print, said some teachers and two management workers, visited them in the hospital and gave N40,000 to assist in the treatment.
“His father and I were returning from Oyo State on May 1, when we were called that his condition had become serious as a result of drug overdose. Since that day, I only came back last Friday. He was sitting for the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination when the illness started and his mates have already finished the examination,” she added.
A family source, who identified himself simply as Jide, said, “When the parents inquired from the school authorities the name of the drugs administered on the boy, they told them the name. But investigations at the Kubwa General Hospital revealed that the boy was given a different drug and reacted adversely to the high presence of sulphur in the drugs.”
Our correspondent learnt that some officials of the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control had also visited the school and the boy in the hospital.
It could not be ascertained as of press time the steps NAFDAC would take on the incident.
When our correspondent got to the school, the commandant was said to be unavailable for comments.
The Vice Principal, Administration, whose name could not be ascertained, also declined comment on the matter.
But the school Regimental Sergeant Major, who was also reluctant to speak, confirmed that some teachers and soldiers had visited the boy in the hospital.
He said, “We have visited the boy in the hospital. Nobody is competent to speak on the matter. The parents can write to the school formally.”
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