Health News of 2014-06-21

Punishment of KATH midwives inconsiderate – Lawyer

A Political Science Lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KATH), Dr Richard Amoako Baah is unhappy about the public condemnation of the nurses at the centre of the missing baby saga.

The Health Ministry after its extensive investigation has ordered the suspension of two midwives.

Marian Asare and Patience Amponsah are to go for two and four weeks suspension respectively without pay.

The two supervisors were cited for not following due procedure in their duty while the doctor who oversaw the delivery has been left to go free.

The directive has however attracted public outrage with many, including the family of Suweiba, the woman in the centre of the controversy, described the punishments as “too lenient”.

But Dr Amoako Baah believes the public should be more circumspect in calling for stiffer punishment.

“If you are a nurse under pressure, so many women and babies, save this one, that one is dead, why would you spend time on a dead one when there is another one being born and another baby is about to die too. So if in the process, you neglected to sign a document, should you be held so responsible for it?” he asked.

He was of the firm opinion that sparing the nurses should have even been considered in the ministry’s directives.

Meanwhile, President of the Ashanti Regional Bar Association, Lawyer Yaw Boafo was of the view that the whole issue had been treated with “unfair political populism”.

He explained that the whole issue about someone purported to have stolen a baby was stirred by the streak of conflicting information given by the mother of the stillborn baby- Suweiba Mumuni.

He pointed out that the issue only became topical three days after an elder of the family came asking for the body for Islamic burial.

He indicated that the fault system in the hospital was bound to happen as by culture and tradition, most parents refused to take stillborn home.

This, he said, had reduced the procedures for documenting such occurrences.

Lawyer Yaw Boafo was however unhappy the ministry’s report failed to condemn the physical attacks on the hospital and its staff by some youth from Suweiba’s community.

He conjectured that those areas must have been spared the whip because of their strong allegiance to the ruling national democratic congress (NDC).

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