Uche Edochie, son to Pete Edochie, the veteran Nigerian actor, says he has spent over six million naira on his recovery from COVID-19.
The visual artist was reflecting on the cost of accessing healthcare particularly among those infected with the novel disease in Nigeria in an Instagram post on Friday.
Uche disclosed that he contracted COVID-19 some weeks ago and originally thought he had malaria.
The artist said when he eventually discovered it was COVID-19, the disease had damaged several parts of his body including his lungs.
“When I fell sick weeks ago, I thought I had malaria. So I spent the first couple of weeks treating for malaria. By the time I realised this could be something else, it was too late. By the time I was rushed to the hospital, eighty percent of my lungs were damaged,” he wrote.
“I couldn’t eat or breathe and I was on oxygen for weeks. I couldn’t walk either and had severe chest pains. I kept blacking out. It felt like I was dying and waking up over and over again. I have never seen anything like this.
“The days turned to weeks and my recovery is going well. I am fully cured of COVID-19 now and I am able to walk a little. My lungs will take months to heal completely. So I am still on oxygen and other medications but I am back home.”
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Uche said while he has fully recovered from the disease, his experience brought to bare the high cost of accessing health care in the country.
He said at the Lagos health facility where he was kept, the sum of N350,000 was charged daily, adding that he spent 12 days there before he was moved to another centre.
According to him, the huge cost of getting treatment for COVID-19 is one of the reasons people with the virus die in the country.
“Curing COVID-19 costs a fortune too and that is a problem. That is often why people die. The facility where I was treated charges N350,000 a day. I was there for twelve days before being moved to First Cardiology Centre in Ikoyi for my lung and heart rehabilitation,” he added.
“Total cost of my treatment so far has exceeded six million naira. I know a guy whose covid treatment cost seventeen million naira.
“Governments must invest in affordable treatment or more and more people will die. Affordable treatment is our last line of defense.
“We have tried lock downs, masks and vaccines and COVID-19 is still spreading. Even the vaccinated are still catching COVID-19.”
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