Thursday, 29 December 2011

34 died, 62 wounded in Madalla bombing –Health Minister

The Federal Government on Wednesday in Abuja finally admitted an increase in the number of victims affected by the Christmas Day explosion at the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Suleja, Niger State which it put at 96.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said this while fielding questions from journalists after visiting victims in the hospitals to ascertain their conditions.

The hospitals visited were the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada; National Hospital, Abuja and State House Clinic, Abuja.
Chukwu said out of the 96 victims, a total of 34 victims had been confirmed dead from the incidents.   
He also said that a committee had been set up to give psychological support for the surviving victims and their relatives and also to help towards identifying the yet to be identified dead bodies.

He said, “I have discussed with the management of National Hospital and a small committee have been set up to provide support one for the relatives of those who survived. There is need for psychological support for them as being done now. It is very important, counselling and so on. And also for the identification of some of the bodies, not all the bodies have been identified so far. But we understand that will be done in time. The committee is in place too to be able to do that smoothly.” 

The minister promised that the Federal Government would settle all the medical bills of the victims of the bomb blasts.

He advised all the remaining victims in the private hospitals to move to government owned-hospitals.
Speaking at the State House Clinic, he said, “The figures we have at the Federal Ministry of Health are the figures that have been gathered by the Rapid Medical Emergency Response team of the Federal Ministry of

Health is that so far we have been able to identify 96 victims of that blast out of which 34 have been confirmed dead.

“This hospital initially took four patients. One has left the hospital with minor injury and another one was transferred to the National Hospital and the remaining two have fractures and today they are looking better. Only two patients are remaining at the Suleja General Hospital. The Federal Government is going to take care of their bills.”   

After going round the wards at the National Hospital, he said, “We are at the National Hospital and initially they brought in 29 victims. But when some other smaller hospitals started transferring, they got altogether 37 patients from the incident. Out of the 37 patients, 24 have now been discharged to be coming from home to the hospital as outpatients while 13 are presently on admission.

“I have seen almost all the patients apart from those who have gone to the radiological department. They are undergoing further examinations there. I have seen those on their beds, some of them with head injuries. I have discussed with the management on plans for their further treatments and I am impressed with the plan they have.

“Many of them are doing well and they are even getting better. There were dead bodies that were brought in. Presently altogether we have 23 corpses in the mortuary at the National Hospital. 21 of them are complete while the remaining two are incomplete.”

At the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, the minister said, “The patients are doing well. One was brought in here dead on that Christmas day. For the rest of the patients, they have lost one who had a major head injury.”


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