What It Feels Like To Volunteer As A Medical Personnel For #EndSARS Protests

November 1, 2020

The #EndSARS protests was a defining period for Nigerians. Although the protests were majorly sustained by the desire to see justice prevail and a complete end to police brutality, a lot of other factors helped in the continuity of the nationwide protests. Some of these factors include feeding, logistics, and medical services. We spoke to some of the people who volunteered as medical personnel during the protests.

Femi

I volunteered on Thursday, 15th of October, at Alausa, Ikeja. Usually, I work a 72hr shift in my hospital. Three days on, three days off. On my off days I’m usually at home kicking back with African Literature after working out in the morning. I would have rested, but it’s impossible to rest with SARS on our streets. The protest was a way of expressing our displeasure and demanding change, and I couldn’t think of anywhere else to be.

The day before, on Wednesday, I was at the protest but I couldn’t find the medical team. So, on Thursday, I decided to volunteer as a doctor at the protest. As it turned out, there was a medical team on ground. They had always been on ground. But because I was caught up in the crowd on Wednesday, I didn’t see them. When I joined on Thursday, we worked together.

We attended to a man with head trauma, a few patients with ankle sprain and we treated some bruises. Generally, the presence of the medical team at the protests gave the people more confidence to come out en masse because whatever injuries they sustained, we would be there to help them and if critical, we move them to a nearby facility. That provided some sort of reassurance for the protesters.

I have managed far worse cases but being at the protest grounds using my knowledge to help the protests forge on was really fulfilling. It’s one of the moments I don’t think I would ever forget. I wasn’t doing it for money or praise. I was doing it because there was a glimmer of hope and I was using my medicine to keep that hope alive.

Damola

I volunteered in Ilorin. That’s where I live. I’m not in the medical profession; I’m a baker and if the protests didn’t take place, I would have gone about my daily business of baking cakes and catering. But then the protests happened, and I felt the need to do more, so I volunteered as a paramedic. There was an ambulance and a medical team on ground, so no one was injured during the protest. The major work was distributing glucose and water to the protesters, and I assisted in this.

UPDATED: Photos, videos of on-going #EndSARS protest

The whole experience made me feel proud, like I was a part of something bigger than me. In my own little way, I was contributing to making Nigeria better. Volunteering was the voice I had, my own way of speaking out so the death of those killed by SARS officials won’t be in vain. I’m glad I defied my uncle and went out for the protests, and if the opportunity to volunteer at any #EndSARS protest shows up again, I will step forward.

Temitayo

I protested in Ibadan on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. That is 13th, 15th and 16th of October. It wasn’t exactly comfortable. I was preparing for an exam, so I took some time off work and study. Having an exam to write would have been a perfect excuse not to volunteer, but I can’t stand oppression and injustice, so I decided to lend my voice and expertise to the protests. Dr Folu George, the MD of Total Family Specialist Hospital, in conjunction with some other health workers, put together a medical team to be at the protests ground. I joined at the inception of the team.

The team was made up of medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical laboratory scientists, physiotherapists, medical students. The doctors managed the medical cases and referred when necessary. The physiotherapists managed cases involving musculoskeletal injuries e.g sprains. The nurses helped with drug administration and measuring the patients’ vital signs. The medical students helped out with patient care, coordinating the crowd and also the smooth running of operations. The pharmacists also helped with sorting out our drugs for easy dispensing and use. The scientists helped with blood samples and tests. Dr Folu George provided all the necessary materials and the ambulance. She sorted our feeding and logistics too.

I saw patients majorly. I managed medical cases ranging from lacerations, abrasions, fingernail avulsion, musculoskeletal injuries. Many of the injuries were sustained from falls. People sat on cars, and when the brakes were applied suddenly, they fell. If I were to describe it, I would say the presence of a medical team at the protest gave some form of reassurance. And we were welcomed and treated well. Some of the protesters helped pave way to ensure we weren’t stuck in the thick of the crowd.

It felt good to be able to play my part in this movement. Being there gave me a renewed sense of hope for Nigeria. Silence on important matters is no longer the norm, injustice and oppression can no longer be condoned. The failures of the government are being openly challenged and criticised, and all these point to a disruption of the flawed and corrupt status quo. I hope like a phoenix, Nigeria will rise again from the ashes of oppression, bad governance, injustice, and corruption.

Zikoko Donation Banner

Help Zikoko keep making the content you love

More than ever, people are turning to Zikoko for stories that matter and content they love. But still, we, like many media organisations, are feeling the financial heat of these times. If you find us valuable, please make a contribution to help keep Zikoko zikoko-ing.

Thank you for your support.

We are also cool with Crypto.

Donation Close
Zikoko Logo

Complete Your Commitment

Donation confirm

Your Contribution is confirmed! Amount


Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

December 10, 2020

On Tuesday, December 8th 2020, Nigeria became the first democratic country to be included in the United State’s official list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for 2020 — a list that curates the countries that do not allow religious freedom and expression. In the CPC list for 2020, Nigeria, alongsides Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, […]

April 30, 2021

The subject of today’s #AbroadLife is a 22-year-old man who left Nigeria immediately after secondary school. He talks about  being lonely in Canada and why he wants to come back home but can’t just yet.  When did you decide that you wanted to leave Nigeria? I didn’t make the decision. My parents made the decision […]

December 16, 2019

You meet someone, go on a couple dates and then realise they’re not that interesting (or whatever the case may be). So how do you break the news? Well, you don’t. You simply end all forms of communication with them (out of thin air) and expect them to take the hint. A wimpy move? Absolutely, […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

June 27, 2022

Salary week is upon us and you’re probably checking your phone every minute, waiting for the credit alert to drop. But the most heartbreaking thing is when your employer serves you breakfast by not paying on the due date. If you’ve been there before, you can probably relate to these feelings. You think it’s just […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

More from Citizen

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X