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Please Come To My Aid, My Drug Costs N1.7m A Pack – Ailing Nollywood Actor, Sadiq Baba

Sadiq BabaSadiq Baba
Veteran actor, Sadiq Baba is currently struggling with his health with a public appeal being made to well-meaning Nigerians to come to his aid.
It is no longer news that seasoned broadcaster and actor, Sadiq
Daba, is down with leukaemia. Unknown to many of his fans and admirers,
the actor, whose role in Kunle Afolayan’s award-winning film, ‘October
1’, attracted a lot of attention awhile ago, practically lives on a drug
called Gleevec, used for the treatment of the disease.
Although he gets supplies of the drug free-of-charge from the
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, courtesy of a donor agency based in
the United States, it is very expensive off the counter and can only be
obtained from the institution.

Sadiq Baba Sadiq Baba

“To get the drug at OAU, you have to go through a process of
evaluation. Then you are recommended to the foundation that supplies the
drug. But, if you are going to buy it off the counter, a pack of it
will cost you about N1.7m. And this will last for three months,”
 he said, in an interview with a Punch correspondent in his Lagos residence.
Daba’s battle with leukaemia started toward the end of 2015. The
disease virtually caught him unawares. At first, he had thought that he
was having the first symptoms of a minor ailment.
“I thought I had malaria fever. So I went to a hospital in
Abuja for a test. After a series of tests, the doctor was shocked. He
told me that what I had was beyond them at the hospital. He advised me
to seek help from a tertiary institution. The tertiary institution, in
this case, simply refers to a university teaching hospital. That was in
2015.
 
“Then I went to the Dermatology Unit of the Lagos State
University Teaching Hospital and it was confirmed that I had leukaemia.
Fortunately, the disease was not overblown yet. It was still at the
early and manageable stage. I was placed on drugs,”
 he recounted.
But, midway into the treatment of the ailment in 2016, Daba had a relapse and he was hospitalised for about three months. “I
was rushed from my residence to the Lagos State Emergency Unit. Again, I
was fortunate to encounter a group of dedicated and courteous medical
staff there who took great care of me. I was placed under observation
for 48 hours and, thereafter, they wheeled me to the General Hospital
where I was admitted,”
 he said.
He recalled that during his stay at the hospital, which lasted two
months, the chief medical director of LASUTH came on a ward visit and
recognised him as he lay on his sickbed.
“It was nice that he visited the ward at that point because my
bill was almost over N1m. The good doctor went on to slash the entire
bill by 50 per cent. I will never forget that,”
 he said.
After leaving the hospital, Daba started attending a dermatology
clinic where he met one Dr. Balogun, a consultant on dermatology, whom
he described as a “fantastic person”.
Although the doctor placed him on a regular diet of drugs, it failed to solve his problem.
Eventually, she advised him to go to the “only medical centre in
Nigeria where leukaemia patients are treated and the right drugs are
available” for the treatment of the ailment. That centre is at the OAU,
Ile-Ife.
“She gave me a referral letter. But I was scared because there
was a proviso that I might undergo a bone-marrow surgery. For the first
two months, I could not go to the university simply because I was trying
to avoid the surgery,”
he said.
While he struggled to overcome his fright, the broadcaster had
another relapse. This time, he was warned that he needed to go for
proper medical treatment at OAU. Somehow, when he got there the doctors
had to skip the bone-marrow operation and he was placed on drugs.
Sadiq Baba Sadiq Baba
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Daba was full of praises for the team at the Department of
Dermatology, headed by Prof. Mohiz Durosinmi, that handled his case. “Prof. Durosinmi’s team was absolutely fantastic. Otherwise, I would have been dead,” he said.
The doctors also warned him not to skip the drugs, donated to OAU
by the Max Foundation, even for one day. For this reason, he has visited
the university from his residence four times. However, wondering what
would have been the situation in the absence of such collaboration
between the foundation and the institution’s dermatology department, he
said, “If the Max Foundation had not been doing this and as a patient, you were to spend money for treatment, you would be dead.”
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Kemisola Ade

Kemisola Adeyemi is the Assistant Editor of Kemi Filani News. She loves to write and write and write and hopes to own a publishing firm someday! Email: [email protected]

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