• Friday, March 01, 2024
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AFCON: Sudden deaths of football fans spark calls for improved emergency care


Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Ramon Moronkola, says there is need to strengthen the nation’s health Emergency Response System for effective operations.

Moronkola, who works with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.

He was reacting to the news of some Nigerians who passed on while watching the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

NAN reports that no fewer than four persons reportedly died on Wednesday night while watching the semi-final match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Bafana Bafana of South Africa, in the ongoing AFCON, in Cote D’Ivoire.

They include a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC), Dr Cairo Ojougboh; Deputy Bursar, Kwara State University, Malete, Ayuba Abdullahi, and a corps member serving in Adamawa State, identified as Samuel.

Anambra-born businessman, Osondu Nwoye, based in Cote d’Ivoire, was also reported to have collapsed inside the stadium, while watching the match and died later in hospital

NAN also reports that the Super Eagles won the match 4—2, in a penalty shoot-out.

Moronkola said it was imperative that the emergency response of the health system be restructured to adequately take care of critical health emergency situations and save more lives.

He argued that if the right emergency care was rendered to the victims and probably there was a standby ambulance services, perhaps, the life of one or two of them would have been saved.

The cardiologist called for the establishment of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at strategic crowded areas of events across the country.

He said this was necessary for the quick rescue and survival of people that might develop cardiac arrest.

According to him, an AED is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, adding that it’s a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, medical device that can analyse the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

“There is urgent need to strengthen emergency response in the health system.

“Imagine if the people around these individuals had the ability to administer Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), coupled with an existing ambulance that will come if there is call immediately.

“The development also underscores the need to have AED at strategic positions of where people gathered.

“Anywhere we have a crowd, there should be mandatory provision AED in designated properly marked areas,” Moronkola said. (