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The Association of Resident Doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH-ARD) has said it will hold a candlelight procession in honour of their colleague who reportedly died from being overworked.

Dr. Umoh Michael is a medical officer serving at the hospital at Idi-Araba in Lagos.

It was gathered that the “overworked medical doctor” died on Sunday after he collapsed during a church service.


The deceased was said to have worked for a three-day stretch performing operations at the Neurosurgery Unit of the federal government-owned facility before the incident.

“We, the house officers in LUTH on Sunday, September 17 lost one of us; his name is Dr. Umoh Michael. He died after having a 72-hour (3 days) call in the Neurosurgery Unit.

“Due to a shortage of medical doctors, he was on call for a good 72 hours without break. When he got home finally on Sunday morning, he immediately went to church service. But on reaching his worship centre, United Evangelical Church, he slumped in the church at about 11 am,” one of his aggrieved colleagues said.

“His roommate and fellow co-house officer attested to the fact that Umoh Michael had barely slept in their apartment over the past one week as he was always on call or came home around 3 am after surgeries and other activities in the Neurosurgery Unit.”

He added, “We have long-standing challenges since we resumed housemanship here and one of the most striking challenges is the bullying we receive from our senior colleagues, stressful call hours without breaks in between, no call food; no good accommodation.”

Meanwhile, his colleagues have declared to embark on a 48-hour strike over his untimely demise.

The strike is expected to begin on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, a letter addressed to the Chief Medical Officer of LUTH and sighted by SaharaReporters read.

Also, in a press statement jointly signed by the president of the LUTH-ARD, Dr Kemi Abiloye, and General Secretary, Dr Adedotun Adesiyakan, the association said, “We will be holding a candlelight procession in his honour at 6 pm today and have paid a condolence visit to the family and we have put plans in place to support them in this very difficult time.”

“Immortalizing him, however, will mean that a reappraisal of the workplace of doctors is taken seriously and we design deliberate attempts to ensure that the effect of brain drain is cushioned significantly,” the association also said.

The statement read in part: “The passing of our younger colleague is really sad and words are not enough to describe the sense of loss that we feel collectively. It has been a turbulent period and we are just beginning to put together the pieces of this sad event.

“The report of our early findings has revealed the following: Dr Michael Umoh was a medical house officer that had only about a month left, to the completion of his housemanship in LUTH. His current posting was in the neurosurgery unit, along with 2 other colleagues at that particular time.

“Their work schedule includes a 48-hour call interspersed with 4 days, which they are not scheduled to be on call. This was an internal arrangement amongst them to allow for a longer period of recoil. At about 11 am on Sunday morning, after his calls on Thursday and Friday, he just concluded a ministration at United Evangelical Baptist church when he slumped.

“The exact details of the emergency response after this event are still unclear, but he was said to be taken to Reddington Hospital where his unfortunate demise was confirmed.

“Reports of a background cardiovascular disease that can predispose to sudden cardiac death have not been confirmed either from his family or from his pre-employment medical screening records.

“At this time, what we consider most important is the life of a diligent and amiable young man who has been lost to the cold hands of death. We cannot begin to imagine what toll this is taking on his immediate family and colleagues and can only allow them to mourn peacefully while we strategise on charting a way forward.”

“After meeting with family members, they are indeed saddened about the level of misinformation, especially the recent publication of a forged letter headed paper of the association with unverified and false details of events that have been unfortunately spread widely throughout different media outlets. While this is quite sad, they have pleaded to be allowed to mourn quietly and celebrate the life of our gentle young brother in the very way he would have wanted,” the statement added.

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