Home Health “We will not comply with your ICU rules”

“We will not comply with your ICU rules”

A Niqab wearing mother of a four-day-old baby has reportedly been denied entry into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), of the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, after her refusal to adhere to the unit’s rules.

According to the baby’s father, Sobur Opeyemi Rafui, the child was rushed to the hospital around 11:30 pm on Wednesday, 31 January 2024, but his wife and a neighbour, who followed them to the hospital were not allowed as patient relatives into the unit because they were wearing niqabs.

He said he wasn’t informed about the rules until he had made some payments to commence treatment. “I don’t really know how to put this but I can’t let it go. They just rejected my four-day-old baby this night around 11:30 pm at the emergency children ward of University College Hospital, Ibadan-UCH just because his mother and our neighbour who followed us there put on a veil.

“The most painful part is that they didn’t tell us initially until after I paid some bills at universal laboratory which is ₦15,800 and I was told to come and fill a refund form in the morning in order to take back my money. It was after I made the payment at the laboratory and I was trying to go and get other prescriptions in the treatment sheet I received a call from my wife that she was asked to remove both her hijab and veil before they can attend to my four-day-old baby,” he posted on Facebook.

In an accompanying video he posted, a nurse in the unit was seen explaining to him why they were not allowed into the unit dressed that way. She emphasised that they were not denied because of their religion but for health and security purposes.

The hospital’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs Obafunmilayo Enitan Adetuyibi, told WestAfricaWeekly that the nurses had explained everything in the video, however, she said the NICU is a delicate unit in the hospital especially when new born babies below 26 weeks were involved.

“You can see the nurse in the video explaining everything, it was the man that was videoing her. The NICU is not just a normal ward, it is a delicate unit especially when children below 26 weeks are involved.”

Past interns in the hospital and some medical experts have acknowledged the hospital ICU rules. One @sports_Doctor on X said, “Are you guys serious at all? When I worked in the ICU as an intern, I didn’t go into the ICU with my work clothes, there were scrubs and shoes kept for everyone outside, and we changed into them. We covered our hair and wore face masks. These are children with very low immunity and you want to bring a “hijab” that’s not sanitised into an ICU!”

“The intensive Care Unit is strictly very hygienic because the patients in an ICU, especially “NewBorns” are very vulnerable. The staff of the ICU are not even allowed to go into the ICU with the clothes they wore from home, why do you think a hijab would be allowed?” Health Simplex posted on X.

Despite the nurse’s efforts to make the father see reasons with them, he said his wife would not comply with the rules.



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