Day 6: Conversations Around Privilege


Day 6 opens with gratitude by our 50years+ folks for the amazing facilities at the center; and for the extremely professional doctors, nurses and even ward maids who come around to make sure that every patient gets treatments tailored to their specific needs. Interestingly, these 50years+ people are vocal APC apologists but as much as they seem to hold a grudge or another against Seyi Makinde, they all agree that this administration has done fantastically well with the structures and personnel put in place to work here.

An interesting conversation pops up about privilege – how there’s so much inequality such that if you do not have influence or connection, you might not be able to access the best of health care in this covid-19 era. It began when a man was brought in from the ICU into the male ward and he began to narrate his journey. Let’s call him Mr. P

Mr. P is a top health worker in one of the hospitals in Oyo State. He had begun to manifest symptoms of fever when he goes to the hospital to be treated for malaria. In the hospital where he is being treated for a malaria, he doesn’t feeling better; rather things are getting worse. His mentee – a doctor – comes around, sees the level of his deterioration and decides that he should go get a COVID-19 test and another test relating to the gastric system.

The COVID test is done but because the lab is overwhelmed, the result takes forever to come. His condition continues to worsen while he waits for his result. The other test indicates gastroenteritis, a condition he’s never had before.

At this point, his fever is high and suddenly he begins to struggle to breathe; still his test result isn’t ready yet. That’s when everyone goes into panic mode – calls made from one Prof to the other, messages bouncing from one top government official to the other. With the connections, his test result is unofficially retrieved and it is POSITIVE.

It takes another level of influence to get the ambulance over to pick him up and ferry him to the Isolation Center. By the time he gets here, he is a few inches away from death, his oxygen level low and him barely hanging on to life. He makes it here just in time before things got irredeemable. All of these events transpired in less than 48hrs.

As he wraps up his story, from one person to the other, people began to admit how – in one way or the other – they have had to ‘pull strings’ and use ‘long leg’ in other to have access to treatment. From getting their test results express to getting picked up by the ambulance to them getting a bed space. Somehow, we all seem to be connected by privilege. Maybe many may not even be able to get access to treatment should they wait for their condition to deteriorate.

The conversation gave room for us to ruminate and be grateful for the influences/connections we have which help us to get access to quality healthcare somewhere along the chain. The facilities are top notch but the system is getting overwhelmed. Who and what criteria determine which patient is picked up for treatment at the isolation center? When demand get bigger than supply, influence plays a critical role in who gets what. The question in the end is, what becomes the fate of a common man who has no one to call in order to access these benefits. Thinking about that hurts.



Breakfast –

Lunch – Semo x Egusi x Liver

Dinner – Eko x Efo riro x fish


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