Health News of 2014-03-26

We need no compensation, where is our baby?

The family of the missing stillborn baby says they are disappointed with the Health Ministry’s latest pronouncements which it says “gives no indication as to the whereabouts of the missing bodies of the stillborns including that of Suwaiba”.

According to the family, their only concern is for the hospital to either produce their baby alive or find out where their purported dead baby’s remains were sent.

In the latest of the Health Ministry’s probe into the controversial missing baby saga at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital has been asked to take his accumulative leave.

This follows numerous administrative lapses uncovered in the latest report delivered by the hospital and the preliminary reports made available by the Nurses and Midwifery Council and the Medical and Dental Council.

The Health Ministry after missing its March 21 deadline to bring a closure to the matter, rather released a preliminary report of its findings on the probe into the saga on Tuesday.

Addressing a news conference, the sector minister Sherry Ayittey indicated that reports received from the hospital showed that “still births should have been handed over to the mortuary attendants and certified by a doctor that the baby was actually dead and registered by the mortuary attendant in the register but there is no evidence to that effect.

She also disclosed that a report from the Nurses and Midwifery council suggested that there were inappropriate storage facilities for still born babies at the labor ward. The report further pointed out that laid down processes for documenting births and deaths at the ward had been neglected while there was absolutely no communication between the midwifes and their doctors at the ward.

On sanctions, Mrs. Ayetey noted that “the ministry has decided that the Chief Executive Officer should take his accumulative leave with immediate effect” while the board directs a senior person in management to take over from him.

The medical doctor and midwife on duty that day are also to remain on leave indefinitely. She also pointed out that the ministry of health is in “the process of facilitating a meeting with Madam Suwaiba, her lawyer and her family to find an amicable settlement to the unfortunate incident”.

But the family will not have any of this. Spokesperson for the family, Abdul Rahman in an interview with Kumasi based Ultimate Radio described the Health Ministry’s latest verdict ordering the CEO to proceed on leave as a mere “warm up” stating that “we want to see the real action.”

“The family is very disappointed in the way that the baby has not been accounted for as the ministry directed that the hospital gives full account of the whereabouts of the baby. We understand that it is a preliminary report but we are hoping that the actual report coming out in two weeks will tell us the whereabouts of the baby,” he said.

He however stated forcefully that “the family’s position is that we are not considering anything like compensation. At the moment our position is to know the whereabouts of the baby whether dead or alive. That is what will give us peace.”