Nigeria: We Didn't Conceal Death of Bauchi Corps Member, Says NYSC

Bauchi — The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has said that it did not conceal the death of a female corps member who died on April 1, 2019 while undergoing orientation exercise in Bauchi State.Magdalene Yohanna had reportedly died over two weeks ago but the NYSC when contacted vowed to brief the media on the cause of her death.

The state Co-ordinator of the scheme, Mr. Afolayan James, in a statement of Wednesday, said the purported concealment of the incident was untrue, as the scheme does not report such incident through pages of newspaper to the affected family.He said the family of the deceased, representatives of Bauchi State Government and NYSC in Kaduna (Magdalene's state of origin) were at the burial according to the scheme's rite.

Afolayan said: "Those familiar with our operations know that the welfare and general well-being of the corps members are being given top most priority and consideration by the management of the scheme. This informed management decision that prospective corps members must come to the orientation camp with a duly signed medical report from a recognised government hospital stating the true health condition of every prospective corps member.

"The medical certificate of fitness presented by the corps member gave her a clean bill of health. She participated in all activities in the camp willingly without being forced."The Co-ordinator further explained that the scheme officials noticed that Magdalene was uncomfortable at meditation ground and medical officials moved her with the NYSC ambulance to the clinic where she was attended to by corps doctors and the resident doctor from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi.

"The Resident Doctor on examining her commenced treatment for Ulcer based on the complaint of pain in the chest and lower abdomen. The doctor immediately recommended her transfer to ATBUTH having assessed that her case should be referred. "Also, the brother (bereaved) that came to Bauchi on being informed of the unfortunate incident equally said that she had a history of health challenge of ulcer and that she was discharged from hospital in the last days of December 2018 after undergoing treatment."

He said the NYSC and ATBUTH encouraged the family to allow an autopsy to be carried out but this was declined in writing with appreciation for the efforts made to save her life.He stated further that after consultations with the family, we gave her burial in line with the NYSC guidelines on such matters.

"The Bauchi State Government wrote a letter of condolence to the family which was delivered by its officials who attended the burial. The NYSC secretariats in Bauchi and Kaduna states were fully represented at the burial. Therefore, referring to the unfortunate incident at a public event almost two weeks after its occurrence will be opening the deep wounds and refreshing the pains already inflicted on the scheme and the deceased family by the demised of the corps member. The issue of concealment of death therefore does not arise at all," Afolayan further said.

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