A hospital where nursing mothers and their babies were illegally detained in dehumanising conditions for several months over non-payment of hospital bills has been uncovered in Lagos. Victims were usually detained until their families were able to pay their debts.
The hospital was uncovered by officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, in collaboration with the Office of the Public Defender, after a tip off.
The three-storey medical centre, Afolabi Hospital, is located at 78, Oworo Road, Oworonsoki in Bariga Local Council Development Area of Lagos, western Nigeria.
Seven nursing mothers and their babies were rescued from the hospital when it was raided by the officials on Monday.
The nursing mothers and their babies, it was learnt, were detained for as long as seven months or more in a dehumanising condition at the hospital.
They were said to have been kept in a dingy room and made to sleep on bare floor while their babies were laid on spring beds without mattresses.
According to Mrs. Alaba Fadairo, Director, Child’s Development, WAPA, “we got an information that a hospital was keeping new born babies and their parents for failing to meet up with the bills they incurred after delivery.
“When we got wind of the ugly development, we swung into action and in the course of our investigation, we found out that it was true that they were incarcerated for not paying their bills.
“After giving birth, both parents and their children were not allowed to see what life outside the hospital looks like. This is barbaric. The area that is of utmost concern to us is the new babies being put on spring beds without mattresses.
“Before we embarked on our fact find mission, we got a video which showed the babies on spring beds without mattresses but mere wrappers. This is against the fundamental human rights of the children. We realised that some of the people have even paid part of their debts, yet they were being held for as long as six, seven months.
“Infact, when we got to the hospital, the doctor was very violent. He made calls and we were besieged by hoodlums who surrounded us. We escaped after a reinforcement came fro…