The elevator involved in the tragic incident that resulted in the loss of Vwaere Diaso’s life at General Hospital, Lagos Island, was found to be unsuitable for use, according to findings by the Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
In response to the unfortunate event, the NMA had convened an 11-member team, led by Saheed Babajide, consisting of impartial professionals including physicians, solicitors, and engineers, to investigate the circumstances surrounding Diaso’s death. Diaso, a medical student at the hospital undergoing her housemanship, was in the elevator when it plummeted from the 10th floor, causing her severe injuries and subsequent fatality as confirmed by the hospital coroner.
The panel’s report, released on Wednesday, revealed that the elevator mechanism responsible for the tragedy should never have been in operation to prevent endangering lives. The panel conducted interviews with two house officers who disclosed that both of the building’s elevator systems had been malfunctioning for an extended period.
Furthermore, the report highlighted the absence of a verified maintenance structure or equipment for the elevator’s upkeep. It also pointed out that there was a significant delay in rescuing the injured medical professional, with approximately an hour spent inside the elevator following the accident.
The panel’s investigation concluded that there was a lack of professional excellence in the provision of the elevator system within the building. As a result, the panel recommended that qualified professionals should be engaged in the design, supervision, and installation of public assets to prevent such tragic incidents in the future.
“Following the standards of Lagos State Safety Commission, we recommend that hospital assets be maintained and serviced by the hospital management to avoid needless bureaucracy and such assets should be certified annually by competent professionals,” the report reads.
“Upon commissioning of assets or technical equipment, the operators of the equipment must be adequately trained and retrained on safety and proper operation and handling of emergencies.
“Routine safety drills should be conducted by safety officers for all staff.”
The panel also recommended the investigation of all stakeholders and contractors involved and the prosecution of anyone found culpable.