Mazeed Mukhtar Oyeleye writes,

Word is, “I love hospitals and drugs but hate doctors.” Yeah, I do not know of you, but I know a good lie when I see one. Although a genotype test is on my mind (I pray I am not a carrier), I like to think my divine gift of seeing moons without falling ill is psychological – you must have figured out the truth by now.

Long before I began to hear, “Why don’t they just turn the clinic into a grocery store if they know they’ll never have the medications we need?” and “If a sick person goes to the clinic, he’ll leave with additional ailments after spending the whole day there”, I stashed my clinic card like some pricey treasury bill because I feel I won’t be needing it, but now I feel ‘needing it much’ ends the sentence better.

You can bet that as of Monday, which marked 3 years and 17 weeks of my studentship at the prestigious Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, (don’t go wondering how I keep count of my time here, go to your MIS account and check yours), my file at the university clinic was not a hundredth-millimetre thicker than it was the day I created it.

I didn’t even think I needed to have a file at the clinic, but English people say, “prevention is better than cure,” plus, I can wager that you know how much Jambitoes wouldn’t let any formality slide. However, I am in the middle of a situation that made me lend credence to the saying, “necessity is the mother of invention”. You might want to pay a little more attention here because this is where the story begins.

Sunday saw me wake up with a somewhat bigger lower lip. If you had seen me a few weeks before the examinations, you’d understand why I did not worry about it. Towards evening, I began to reconsider my stance. Waking up on Monday with an obviously swollen lip was not funny. Dear me! I knew something was wrong. I did not need to look at a mirror to know how big my lip was, but I did, and I saw blisters all over it. My roommates’ suggestions made me realise it was time for my clinic card to do some real work.

I recalled my fine blue card from retirement and set off in the direction of the school clinic. As I paced on, I hoped that the prescriptions were pocket-friendly because I have heard, time and again, that the clinic rarely has a stock of even the cheapest medications. It should not surprise you that I got to the clinic and began to ask questions that seemed weird for a penultimate-year student registered with the school clinic.

However, I soon wrapped my head around the whole process and proceeded. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait for anyone before getting into the consultation room that sat three staff members in it. I sat down and slid off my facemask so the physician could know what we had on our hands. “Who did you kiss?” one of the staff seated had asked, bursting into laughter. I nodded, “nobody,” and joined them in laughing.
And the physician prescribed three medications after going through my file, amidst a light conversation with her colleagues, and wrote UG II instead of UG III – I didn’t notice right away anyway. She handed me the prescription and said, “eat before you take number 3”. After taking a closer look at my face, she retrieved the form and added something. “This should help with the pimples,” she referred to number 4 as she passed over the prescription.

I proceeded to the ‘what do they call the room where people get the prescribed drugs?’ and slid the prescription over the counter after saying tasleem. The attendant grabbed the paper and did some crossing out with a red pen. He handed me three medications, taking time to dole out the respective dosage. “The last one, babu shi,” he concluded and passed back the prescription.

Perplexed but happy I won’t have to spend my money (God knows how much of my mommy’s money she expended on my pimples), I left the school clinic. However, some questions are playing Peekaboo on my mind: Isn’t the clinic notorious for not having the necessary medications? But how come they exhausted the prescription I presented with a 75 percent efficiency even when the school is off-session?

These questions came together to birth the one big wonder I have; Am I just lucky, or has the availability of medications at the Fodiyo Varsity clinic improved?

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