The Lagos state Government of Nigeria has come to the rescue of a 2-week old baby who was at the point of death after the parents vehemently refused to comply with the life saving medical option of blood transfusion due to their religious belief.
The prematurely delivered baby whose birth occurred at a private hospital in Surulere was discovered by doctors to be severely jaundiced and in dire need of blood transfusion to survive but the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Onokpise who are staunch Jehovah Witnesses and on Medical Insurance (HMO) were against the blood transmission as it was strictly against their religious belief.
The parents thereafter discharged their child without the hospital’s consent. Alarmed by the critical condition of the baby and the parent’s position, a concerned member of the public reported the case to the Lagos state Office of Public Defender (OPD).
On receiving the information, the agency swung into immediate action. After stiff resistance from mobilised members of the Jehovah Witness, the baby was taken from the parents by the agency in collaboration with the Nigerian Police, Adeniji-Adele and Orile stations.
According to the agency, the baby who weighed 2.2kg at birth weighed less than 1.7kg at the point of rescue owing to the lack of medical attention by the parents. The baby was taken to Massey street Children Hospital located in Lagos Island where the needed treatment was eventually administered to the child who is currently recuperating.