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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

‘How My Daughter’s Death Led to a Foundation’ - Lawyer

A Lawyer, Mrs. Cecilia Odibo has narrated how the unfortunate death of her daughter, Mahuemolen Aduke Odibo led to the establishment of a foundation - the Mahuemolen Aduke Odibo Foundation (MAOF) to immortalize her. Barr (Mrs.) Cecilia Odibo made this known during the formal launch of the foundation in Lagos. She said she decided to put the foundation together – alongside other trustees - after the tragic and painful death of her late daughter, then a final year law undergraduate at the University of Lagos on August 10, 2017.

Accordingly, she is determined to raise awareness and consciousness about Nigeria’s health care workers and practitioners, especially regarding their duties toward their patients in order to reduce medical malpractices and negligence. The MAOF, she stated, will also bridge the gap between law and medicine by making Nigerian patients aware of their rights and duties as enshrined in our laws. It will also assist practitioner to live up to their responsibilities in order to avert potential lawsuits emanating from the negligence of duty.

Mahuemolen died as a result of incompetence in the administration of oxygen which eventually led to respiratory failure. Her untimely death was further complicated by the drip stripe connecting hydrating water/fluid flow to her lungs instead of her vein. An autopsy conducted after her death revealed respiratory failure, severe pulmonary oedema and sickle cell haemoglobinopathy (Clinical) as secondary cause of death. It was revealed that the first two causes were factors that could have been effectively managed in the hospital but for lack of competence on the part of the medical professionals.

Her pains notwithstanding, Mrs. Odibo resolved in her heart to immortalise her daughter, a victim of medical negligence and to ensure that she raises awareness about avoidable and negligent deaths in our hospital and to encourage other parents who maybe facing similar challenges. “I resolved in my heart to put the painful death of my daughter behind me and to champion the cause to ensure that our medical workers, practitioners and professional are diligent while handling patients,” she said.

Apart from raising awareness and consciousness about avoidable medical deaths, Mrs. Odibo stressed that the foundation will also advocate principles that apply to the areas of diagnostics and treatment in which difficulties most frequently arises and to equally assist patients in public hospitals, especially those suffering from sickle cell anaemia. This is in addition to ensuring that patients have the right to know the type of prescriptions being administered on them and the implication on their health. It also aims to ensure that medical practitioners are transparent and accountable to their patients always.

Furthermore, the foundation is also advocating for improved capacity among young medical practitioners and to liaise and cooperate with the government and other organizations with similar objectives in furtherance of achieving the foundation’s aims and objectives. In carrying out these functions, it would also accept donations that are specifically consistent with its aims and objectives.

Since there have been numerous reports about avoidable deaths as a result of medical and professional negligence, Mrs. Odibo said she is ready to provide psychological and medicolegal support to people confused when such incidents occur, especially in the area of whether to allow for an autopsy for their dead relatives. “People believe an autopsy opens fresh pains and agony, however this is false, an autopsy provides further insight and is never a waste of resources, it reveals what the mind cannot comprehend and settles any form of assumptions.”

Prior to her death, Mahuemolen Aduke Odibo was very charitable. She regularly visits charitable homes such as Modupe Cole, Paccelli School for the Blind, Down Sydrome Foundation, Makoko Motherless Babies Home, Heart of Gold Hospice and many others where she makes donations and contributions in cash and kind to support for their works of love. It is quite instructive that her donations were raised from the sales of her indigenous bags brand “Mahuemolen Sazbags” and “Mahuemolen Barrister’s bag.” These same bags are now being produced to generate seed money to kick-start the foundation and sponsor projects in line with the foundation’s aims and objectives.

Mahuemolen passion was also found in the arts, she believed that the world was enough to accommodate the realization of multiple dreams and aspirations and that principle endeared her into being the creative mind behind these bag brands. As a law student, her life revolved around doing the best she could to impact the legal world and her community at large, as a result, she was a member of societies such as the Tax club, UNILAG press club, NAESS, SCM and others.

In order to further place the foundation on a sound footing, the following trustees would be assisting Mrs. Odibo: Mrs. Morenike Babington-Ashaye, Mrs. Omobola Fashola, Ms. Omotayo Aiyegbajeje, Ms. Margaret Adeoti Ola, Mr. Isaac Adebayo, Mr. Olaolu Osanyin and Mr. Odiabhehor Odibo. 

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