Parents decry negligence as 10-year-old Akwa Ibom student dies

Map of Akwa Ibom

The parents of late Rita Emmanuel, a junior student of the Federal Government College, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have reacted furiously to the death of their daughter.

Rita Emmanuel, a 10-year-old student of the school, died after she had earlier been taken to the school’s Sick Bay, which allegedly lacked facilities and specialists to handle her case. She was later referred to a hospital.

She was said to have been released to the parents, who took her to a referral hospital where medics could not save her from a condition the school management had described as “complicated.”

Reacting to the situation, angry parents, late Monday, blamed the matter on negligence by the school management, noting that “the medical facility in the school is completely dysfunctional to take care of some serious cases involving the about 5,000 students of the school.”

“The children, as young as 10 years, are going through lot of pains from poor medication because unavailability of quality drugs with only two nurses, poor feeding, with cooks and teachers always in the habits of carting foods away, leaving the children malnourished and water crises all the time in the school,” a parent, Mayen Ekanem, noted.

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“This is a clear case of avoidable death. The school is lacking in everything including discipline and security because young children have traumatic experiences almost every day with the seniors brutalising them, stealing their things and raping some innocent girls,” another parent, Enobong Bassey, lamented.

“My late brother-in-law’s son by name Emediong Akpan, was admitted into senior school one, and that same term, a senior student hit him on the chest and he started vomiting blood. When my husband tried to arrest the student, the school management promised to handle it. Since that day, Emediong’s life has never been the same until he graduated,” another parent said.

“My son was wounded by his bunk in the dormitory, all they could do at the clinic was to administer ointment, not minding the rust on the bunk,” Mfoniso Essien said.

Explaining the circumstances surrounding the little Rita’s death, the Chairman of the Parents Teachers Association of the school, Dr. Itoro Ikoh, appealed for calm after meeting with the school management on the matter.

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Her words, “Miss Rita was a JSS one student. I was told she felt pains in her stomach at night. The following morning, while her house mistress was on routine check, she ordered that Rita be taken to the Sick Bay. She was attended to, but on cross examination, she was observed to be in a complicated condition which required referral.

“Umbilical hernia was diagnosed and the attention of Rita’s parents were required. When we spoke to the mother, she told us that she usually gave her vinegar to calm down, but was later taken to the hospital where she died.”

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