Suspense and anxiety enveloped residents of a neighbourhood around Bauchi Road, Jos, Plateau State, as Halima Aliyu, a student of the National Teachers Institute (NTI), was delivered of a set of quadruplets in stunning circumstances.
Witnesses said the babies were born alive prematurely in one room apartment, where Halima, a 29-year-old mother of five before the arrival of the new babies, and her hubby, Aliyu Useni, aged 30, lived. They are having the quadruplets barely three years after being blessed with a set of twins named, Abduljafaru and Useni. Earlier, the couple had three children, Asamatu, aged 11, Rukaya (9) and Fatima (7), all girls.
Unfortunately, one of the new babies died shortly on arrival at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, where they were rushed to for medical care. Even as doctors confirmed one of the babies dead on arrival, the three who survived were denied admission as a result of an industrial action embarked upon by staff of the hospital.
Rejected, the babies born in the early hours of Sunday, March 12, 2017, were moved to the Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos, where the parents met another obstacle. They were told all the incubators were occupied and thus, referred to Bingham University Teaching Hospital, also in the Plateau State capital.
It was learnt that on arrival at Bingham at about 1pm same day, Halima and her babies were admitted, despite shortage of incubators. Two of the babies were put in one incubator for hours before they were separated. They reportedly weighed below 1.025 as at the time of admission at the Paediatric ward of the hospital, where a team of doctors battled for their survival.
As at last week, two of the babies were said to have been officially ccertified fit to go home along with their mother, while one was still under observation in the incubator.
Sadly, however, the distraught parents face another hurdle, as the discharged babies cannot leave the hospital as a result of lack of funds to settle the bill, estimated at N300, 000.
“I don’t know where to get such amount of money at this difficult period. I have a bill of N300, 000 to pay for the two babies, who have been discharged; I don’t know how much I will be asked to pay for the one that has been in the incubator for more than one month. Some good Samaritans have donated their widows’ mite and I appreciate their support towards the survival of the children.
“I plead with the Plateau State government to come to my aid ,because the burden is too heavy for me to bear- the hospital bills, feeding and clothing of the children. I know what I have been going through between 2013 and now, after I was blessed with a set of twins; I had not recovered from that trauma, and today, I have quadruplets.
But, God doesn’t make mistake; there are rich men who are looking for just a child, but don’t have any. I thank God for what He has done, but sincerely, I need help”, Aliyu, father of the babies, told Saturday Sun. After his primary education in an Islamic school, Aliyu ventured into business in 1995, trading in children clothes. Due to lack of patronage, he dumped the business in 2014 and took a loan from an undisclosed source, with which he traded in plastic buckets. That too ended abruptly as a result of the prevailing economic recession.
His greatest challenge at the moment is how to foot the hospital bills and cater for his wife and eight children. Besides, the rent on his one- room apartment had expired and he constantly fears the landlord might come knocking on his door to eject him soon.
Last month, three of his children, Asamatu, Rukaya and Fatima were sent packing from school for his inability to pay the fees; he made an undertaking to offset their fees on resumption, before they were allowed to write the second term examination.
Aliyu, the third and last child of his late father, married his wife, Halima, in 2005 when she was barely 17 years old. Within a period of 12 years, she has delivered babies five times, including a set of twins and quadruplets, all born at home. Interestingly, Aliyu’s late father and his father-in-law, share something in common. Both came out of their mothers’ wombs in pairs.
Why we’re being detained –Father
Aliyu Useni, father of the quadruplets alleged that his wife and two children have been detained at Bingham University Teaching Hospital Jos over their inability to settle the N300,000 medical bill.
“I am detained in the hospital, because I have not paid all the medical bill. I have deposited N100, 000 and I am making effort to raise the remaining money so we can go home.”
When Saturday Sun visited the hospital at about 12pm on Thursday, the Chief Medical Director was not on seat The Director of Administration, Barrister Asama, said the CMD, Prof. Edwin Esiegbe, should be contacted for any inquiries.
Barrister Asama insisted that he would not talk, as he was not a medical worker.
He said: “It is only when the CMD gives me directive to talk that I will make comment on this issue and even if he asks me to do, I will have to enquire before I can comment, because I am not a technician, I only heard that there are quadruplets in the hospital and I don’t know much about them.”
Efforts to get the Chief Medical Director to speak proved abortive as he was said to be in a management meeting as at the time of filing this report.