Since the news of the death of Miss Zainab Umar, a student of the Umaru Musa Yaradua University Katsina broke, there have been heated debates between the authorities of the institution, students and parents on who should be blamed for her unfortunate death.
Many students and public commentators had taken to the social media, alleging that lack of proper medical care by the university’s management was responsible for her death.
Zainab Umar, an Economics student, was bitten by a snake on Friday, October 13th around the institute’s popular small gate at about 8pm. Her death, which occurred on Monday October 16, had thrown her family, friends and schoolmates into instant mourning.
Daily Trust gathered that this was not the first time the school would lose someone as a result of snakebite. A security guard had once lost his life to snake bite. Another student was however lucky as he survived an incident at the university’s soccer pitch.
Some students, who wouldn’t want to be named, told Daily Trust that Zainab was admitted at the school’s clinic for two days before her condition deteriorated and she was rushed home where she died later.
They accused the school’s management of negligence and alleged the lack of essential drugs at the clinic. They also decried the non-functional streetlights in the school.
A public commentator in the state, Lawal Funtua, blamed the university’s poor health system and the lingering crisis in the university between the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Idris Funtua, and the university community. “It’s not good for the young university and its community.”
Funtua also called on the state government and Katsina elders to intervene and save the young university and its students from similar predicament. While commiserating with her friends and family, Funtua urged all of them to work hard to keep her dreams alive.
The heavy criticism forced the university management to issue a statement on what transpired.
The statement by the Senior Information Officer, Fatima Sanda Kaita, said, “A spill over student of the Department of Economics died after she was bitten by a snake around 8pm on Friday on her way out of the university first gate alongside two of her friends.
“Zainab was rushed to the university clinic by a security guard, where she was administered an anti-venom, pain relievers and antibiotics,” it said.
“She was later referred to General Amadi Rimi Specialist Hospital around 5am where she was further attended to and discharged back to the university’s clinic to continue with the treatment.
“Some friends of the deceased decided to take Zainab home at Dandume for traditional treatment. The Dean of Student Affairs advised them against that. The friends called the mother of the late Zainab on phone and the dean convinced her to let her daughter stay and continue with the treatment to which she agreed.
“Later in the day, the Dean went back to check on Zainab and was informed that her friends took her home against medical advice from the university clinic.”
The statement said: “The university management received the shocking news of Zainab Umar’s passing in the early hours. The management of the university wishes to express its heartfelt condolences to the family and entire university community. The management appeals to the public to always verify any news before spreading it, as such might cause public unrest.”
Zainab’s father, Umar Shitu, in a chat with Daily Trust said the death of his daughter was one of the most tragic incidents in the family.
“I was at work when I was told that she has died. I rushed back home to meet the corpse and commenced burial preparations,” the father said.
He said the attestation of people and friends online and the unending visits show she was loved by many. “The burial attendance shows the great love people have for her. A friend of the family just showed me some of her pictures on Facebook,” he added.
“My daughter is no more but I want to take legal action because I’m thinking of negligence on the part of the school. I’m presently making contacts,” he said.
“What is more worrying was that the school management was not represented at the burial, though their Head of Department, students and friends came around,” he said.