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Connaught Dialysis Unit Turns Death Trap!

Family members who recently lost relatives at the newly installed Connaught government hospital dialysis unit are left in shock, dismay and utter disappointment at the height of conspiracy to cover up the killings of their loved ones by management of the unit; and authorities at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation – MOHS, 4th floor Youyi Building.

It was on Monday 26th July 2021, amidst great fanfare, the Connaught Hospital Dialysis Unit after a hiatus of almost three (3) years that the new dialysis machine and water system was commissioned by none other than the Minister of Health Dr Austin Demby himself, who touted to the nation, among other things in his statement that the new equipment, including Dialysis Machines and the Water System, were state of the art, and brand new.

The Minister further stated that each dialysis machine costs a whopping $20,000 a piece, with a price tag of $45,000.00 assigned to the water system. Henceforth declared the Minister, Connaught Dialysis Unit has been fully equipped with first class and state of the art dialysis machines, water system, paid for by the Government of Sierra Leone, and by extension the people of our impoverished nation. Well barely a week went by after that ministerial declaration, when lo and behold, the unit suffered its first catastrophic breakdown. It turns out the dialysis machines and water system may not be new after all, but more likely, substandard substitutes prone to breakdowns that are now linked with five (5) fatalities, all within two weeks. This coupled with seemingly glaring inexperienced and incompetence by the current unit head and junior consultant Nephrologists, Dr Joshua Coker, this should set alarm bells ringing. Indeed, it is a highly unusual occurrence in any standard dialysis setting for five (5) deaths to occur in quick succession at the same unit within such a space of time. With one death occurring while Dr. Coker was administering dialysis on a patient late Mr. Alpha Turay of Kenema and no 76 Soldier Street, who pasted away Saturday 21st August 2021.

The whole unfortunate incident has left the Minister and other Ministry of Health officials scrambling for answers and a massive campaign to suppress this news, in a forlorn but doomed attempt to keep it from going public. Coupled with a massive effort is ongoing to cajole, entice and even threaten Journalists to keep a lid on the story that refuses to die.

As panic grips many, from of shock of loss of love ones; crying family members of victims have been making calls to the ministry and in particular, Dr. Coker to shut down the unit as they believed that their loved ones would have been alive had it not been for the suspect old, faulty, inefficient and poor machines and water systems – the water system being the brain box of the dialysis system a new one will not malefaction in such a spectacular manner leading the death of not one but five in a roll – the reverse osmosis system that saves live has turned out to be a death trap? Family members cry!

Our consultations and enquiries with various medical practioners here and in the UK dislosed that the water system cleans water from tosics, bacteria, poisons, and dangerous infectious deceases to assist the kidney to resuscitate a dialysis patients recuperate.

Sadly the unapologetic and epoch, over-ambitious, and grossly inexperienced Dr. Joshua Coker has consistently refused to shut down the faulty machines, his action which has resulted in the untimely death of four (5) citizens; namely Abdulrahaman Jalloh, Safiatu Kamara, Esther Moriba, Mrs. Zainab Sesay, Mr. Alpha Sesay; other individuals on dialysis have expressed suspicions for their lives; to visit or use the dialysis system at Connaught hospital for routine dialysis treatment, hence preferring to use very expensive private centers as alternatives to dialyze instade.

Dr. Coker, head of the dialysis unit Connaught hospital have restrainedly denied that these deaths did not occur while patients were been dialyzed but stated that the individuals as he preferred to describe them; died within the dialysis facility from other causes, not unrelated to kidney problem.

Members of the working public at the Connaught hospital are left baffled as to how patients without the need to dialyze ended up dying at a specialized unit

days after it was reopened to the public for the first time in almost three years; by no less an authority than the minister of health himself.

It could be recalled that the procurement process to procure dialysis machines, water systems, and its consumables were cover in secrecy, alter controversies, rejections, redraw of donor funds, and elimination of key stakeholders, which resulted in the whole process lasting years; many within the ministry of health and sanitation are left in no doubts that machines that came as a result of this cooked procurement could end up as the reason for such somber national tragedy.

Many in the Connaught hospital holds that the malfunctioning osmosis system is responsible, while others believe that Dr. Cokers’ inexperience and stubbornness is another major factor for the early deaths of these mentioned citizens under direct administration of dialysis, orchestrated through a highly corrupt appointment and procurement process at the ministry of health and sanitation – MOHS.

As all these unfolds, citizens are felt in the cold as to how very expensive new machines can perform so poorly leading to the death of five individuals; and of fret also is the conspicuous silence from majority of the print media and total blackout accorded this ‘wahala’ by the electronic media; as if it did not even occur; no probe by the ACC nor the Sierra Leone Police not even the Medical and Dental Association of Sierra Leone; these spates of deaths may turn into another boff CASE.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation for decades now have been prominent for dappled procurement of goods and services, recruitment and many more; a situation which over the years led to scores of worrisome patients feared government medical facilities for meaningful treatment, and in many cases rightfully so.

This is all happening when the president brought in Dr. Austin Demby as Minister of Health and Sanitation, a man who had stayed in the USA for the majority of his professional life and has been practically thrown in the midst of corrupt hyenas in the MOHS, some retorted.

Questions are abounded as to how Dr. Coker ended up been a consultant nephrologist at the hem of dialysis unit at Connaught hospital when he is a junior nephrologist consultant. This is a serious course for concern, observers of the medical sector complain; fearing the worst death toll is yet to be seen, unfortunately if he is not restrained and measures put in place to seriously investigate these deaths, the procurement process and standard/worth of the products bought and installed all spanning three years with immediate effect; at the once prestigious dialysis unit.

How can Sierra Leone expend $145,000.00 only for the system to be a death trap?

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