Barely a month after the death of Fatima Ajani, on board Ethiopian Airlines, another Nigerian, Ebegboni Matti, died on Sunday in Addis Ababa aboard another flight. Mr. Matti, accompanied by his wife Stella, was on his way to Bombay, India, for a medical check-up.
John Ejinaka, the Head of Chancery, Nigerian Embassy in Ethiopia confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent in Addis Ababa that Mr. Matti, died some minutes before the aircraft landed at Bole International airport.
The aircraft, which departed Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, was to land in Addis Ababa, while passengers travelling to Dubai, India and other countries were to transit to their respective destinations.
According to the Head of the Chancery, the deceased’s wife said she
accompanied her husband last year to India for treatment and that they were travelling back for a medical check-up when he suddenly found it difficult to breath. She said she demanded for oxygen from the cabin crew when the husband could not breathe properly but none was provided up to the time he eventually collapsed and died.
Mr. Ejinaka said the corpse, has been deposited at Menelik Hospital morgue, and will be transported to Nigeria on Tuesday.
He revealed that the embassy recorded three such cases last year and six others in 2009 and advised those suffering from heart-related illness to avoid transiting through Ethiopia because of the country’s high elevation and shortage of oxygen.
He also urged Ethiopian airlines to always screen their passengers before boarding in order to ascertain their health status before departure. ‘‘The number of casualties is increasing, the airline should screen their passengers and ascertain those going for treatment of heart related ailments. Those who should travel with doctors should be advised to do so in order to reduce the increasing incidents of Nigerians losing their lives on their way for treatment or returning from treatment’’, he said.
Two weeks ago another Nigerian returning from Bombay , where he went for heart treatment found it difficult to breath, however the situation was saved as the patient was quickly rushed to the hospital. He was discharged after spending 10 days and doctors certified that he could travel.