• Mon. May 27th, 2024

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A 15-year-old girl identified simply as Fatima is troubled at the moment being at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Idi-Araba a month after giving birth.
She was said to have been taken to the hospital by a woman, popularly known as Iya Kamoru, whom she lived with as a maid in the Mushin area of Lagos.
The hospital reportedly cancelled Fatima’s N151,000 medical bills and asked her to pay N53,000 feeding expenses incurred as of November 10.
City Round gathered that the hospital was also hesitant to discharge her and the baby because she did not want to return to Iya Kamoru’s house.
Our correspondent learnt that the girl’s tortuous journey began when she was brought from Cotonou, Benin Republic to do housemaid work in Lagos.
A worker at the hospital, who hinted our correspondent about Fatima’s situation, said the girl moved from one place to another until she ended up at Mushin where she was defiled by an unidentified man at night.
The worker said, “The girl said her mother is dead and that she was brought to Lagos as a housemaid from Cotonou. She ran away from her master and the woman (Iya Kamoru) saw her wandering around. She took her in and was helping her to hawk sachet water.
“According to her, she was outside with the woman one day when she slept off on a bench. The woman left her and went inside. While she was asleep, someone covered her mouth and raped her. It was dark and she could not identify the person. It was three months later that she realised she was pregnant.
“She was brought to the hospital in October by the woman. Yesterday (Thursday) made it one month that she gave birth. The woman could not pay her medical bill which is about N150,000. The hospital has waved it and she is only required to pay for feeding which is about N53,000. Apart from this, the girl has nowhere to go. She said she did not want to return to the woman’s house.”
The Coordinator, Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network, Mr Ebenezer Omejalile, said the organisation had met with the welfare unit of the hospital to seek help for Fatima.
He urged the Lagos State Health Service Commission, and the state’s Ministry of Youth and Social Development to come to Fatima’s aid pending when she would be reunited with her family.
He said, “The girl was brought to Lagos at age eight to work as a maid. The guardian whom she lived with is popularly known as Iya Kamoru who resides in Mushin.
“We met with one of the welfare officers from the welfare unit of LUTH in person of one Mr Michael, who was receptive. He was able to throw more light on the efforts the unit has put in on behalf of the girl and her child.’’
The LUTH spokesperson, Mr Kelechi Otuneme, said the management was already taking action on Fatima’s case.

By Afeez Hanafi


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