THE KOMFO Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi is in trouble, as three dead babies cannot be accounted for, heightening suspicion and finger-pointing at the hospital.
The incident resulted in the arrest of one Baba Abeley, a cleaner at KATH, who was suspected of having a hand in the disappearance
of the dead babies which is now the major topic of discussion in Kumasi.
The authorities at the hospital handed Baba Abeley to the police on Thursday for questioning over the sudden disappearance of a dead baby, an incident which occurred at KATH’s labour ward on Wednesday.
This was after Baba Abeley had given a tale which was laden with inconsistencies, as to where he had dumped the body when queried extensively by KATH management.
The cleaner was said to have taken the dead body from the labour ward to an
unknown place at the hospital, but he had since not been able to state where exactly he took the body to, with earlier reports saying that he had burnt it.
The incident had suddenly attracted negative publicity for KATH, with some people in the city going to the extent of even linking the sudden disappearance of the dead babies to ‘juju’.
It all started when a pregnant woman, Suwaibatu Abdul Mumin, was referred to KATH for delivery on Wednesday, a source at the hospital told DAILY GUIDE.
After delivery, which resulted in ‘stillbirth’, the nurses on duty reportedly showed the dead body to the mother, after which they wrapped it in a cloth, weighed it and placed it in a box, waiting for the morgue attendants to take it away.
At that point, Baba Abeley was the KATH staff cleaning the place. So the hospital staff suspected him when they could not trace the dead baby after Suwaibatu asked for it later on.
Kwame Frimpong, the public relations officer of KATH, said before the sudden disappearance of the dead baby, as part of KATH’s protocol, the gender of the dead baby was determined, the baby was weighed and the mother was duly informed.
Afterwards, the midwives on duty made the mother see that the baby was neither crying nor breathing to confirm that indeed it was dead.
Mr. Frimpong said the midwives also checked to determine the sex of the dead child before the mother was made to thumbprint on documents of KATH, confirming the baby’s death.
Then on, the dead baby was wrapped nicely in a cloth by nurses on duty who placed it in a box to be sent at the morgue for the necessary procedure later on, by mortuary attendants of the hospital. Mr. Frimpong said although documents at the labour ward indicated that the baby was dead, Baba Abeley, who claimed to have taken it alongside the thrash he had gathered at the ward, could not produce it when it was demanded.
He said the KATH management became suspicious because first, it was not the duty of a cleaner to take away dead bodies from the ward, so they queried the cleaner further.
Baba Abeley, he said, noted again that he took the dead baby to the incinerator at the hospital but when he was ordered by the KATH management to produce it, he could not do so.
The KATH PRO noted that the hospital’s management later realized that even the staff had not used the incinerator since last weekend, so they were not convinced. They therefore handed the cleaner over to the police.
He said upon going through the documents at the facility, the KATH management realized again that bodies of two more babies that had been confirmed dead could also not be accounted for.
Mr. Frimpong assured the public that the hospital management would do whatever it could to ensure that the whole truth about the issue was unearthed, urging the public, notably the affected families, to remain calm.
Meanwhile, ASP Mohammed Tanko, the Ashanti Regional Police PRO, has confirmed to
DAILY GUIDE that Baba Abeley has been granted bail by the police after questioning.
He said Abeley, during interrogation, flatly denied being the one that disposed off the body of the deceased baby of Suwaibatu.
This statement clearly contradicted a statement by officials of the hospital.
ASP Tanko said the police were just investigating the disappearance of Suwaibatu’s baby as of now, saying that the police were yet to confirm whether indeed the baby was dead.
According to him, the police were waiting to investigate nurses of KATH that were on duty during the incident in order to establish whether the baby’s reported death was true or not.
ASP Tanko said the police were only aware of the disappearance of Suwaibatu’s dead baby.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health says it has taken note of a story about an alleged missing baby at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
‘The MoH wishes to assure the general public, especially the family of Suwaiba Abdul Mumin that it would not rest on its efforts of carrying out an investigation into the allegation. We want to assure the family that we would be seeking justice in the matter.
‘This span from the fact that the ministry is working with its stakeholders in reducing neonatal death and also accelerating our effort of reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity.
We hope that this investigation would help strengthen the operation of procedures at the maternity wards in the hospitals across the country,’ said a statement issued in Accra and signed by Tony Goodman, PRO of the ministry.
FROM I..F Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
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