KATH DoctorsOn Strike

DOCTORS at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi yesterday laid down their tools with immediate effect.

The doctors took the unanimous decision after an emergency meeting Friday evening in protest against the violent attack at medical personnel at the hospital by irate Zongo youth on Thursday.

The Zongo youth attacked the hospital’s staff in a bloody fashion to demand the dead body of a baby birthed by a Zongo mother.

President of the Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr. Frank Serebuor, announced the doctor’s strike on radio.

Dr. Serebuor, who was assaulted during the attack by the rampaging Zongo youth, said the doctors don’t feel safe to work at the facility.

According to him, information reaching them indicated that the Zongo youth were planning to attack the hospital again on Monday.

Dr. Serebuor alleged further that attackers vowed to kill ten doctors at KATH if the hospital failed to produce the body of the baby.

He said the doctors were not taking chances hence, their decision to lay down their tools.

Dr. Serebuor appealed to authorities at KATH to beef up the security network at the place to boost the safety of personnel.

In a related development, armed policemen have been deployed to provide adequate security at the hospital

The authorities at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi had appealed to the staff – who left the hospital following the invasion by irate Zongo youth on Thursday, to return to work.

In a release authored by KATH’s PRO, Kwame Frimpong, the hospital’s management stated that adequate security had been detailed at the facility to protect its staff as they attended to patients.

‘Management wishes to assure staff of the directorate and indeed the hospital as a whole, that strenuous efforts have been made to get the police and other security agencies to provide adequate security for them to forestall the re-occurrence of this unfortunate incident.

‘Management therefore will like to appeal to all staff members who fled their duty post in the course of the attack, to return to work as adequate security arrangements are being put in place to ensure their safety.’

He said the unfortunate invasion of the place by the irate Zongo youth, without doubt, ‘is linked to the recent incident of alleged theft of ‘baby’ by a member of one of the Zongo communities in the metropolis, and management will like to use this opportunity to set the records straight.’

He continued, ‘The Management of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) wishes to register its profound discontent over the unwarranted assault on some staff of the Obstetrics and Gyanaecology directorate of the hospital today by a group of people from one of the Zongo communities in Kumasi.’

Mr. Frimpong posited that KATH’s management ‘condemns in the strongest of terms this brute attack on its staff members since the hospital cannot operate in an atmosphere of insecurity. ‘Indeed, as a result of the attack, most members of staff of the directorate abandoned their post for fear of their lives as doctors, midwives, nurses and other health workers were mercilessly beaten up by the group.’

The KATH PRO stressed that there was no theft of any baby or babies at the hospital as being alleged by some family members and the media.

He added that the baby, who was alleged to have been stolen, was still-born, and the mother duly attested to that fact by thumb-printing against the entries in the Still Birth Record book of the Labour Ward and in her own patient’s folder.

‘Apart from thumb-printing, the mother had subsequently upon her discharge from the hospital, spoken to some local radio stations on this matter during which she confirmed that she was made to observe the baby to note the sex and the fact that it was neither breathing nor crying  because it was a still-born.

‘The dead baby was also placed on her to establish the state in which it was born before it was weighed and the necessary records made, and she thumb-printed accordingly. This is in line with the established procedures for handling incidence of still-births at the hospital.’

He maintained that management admitted that it had received a complaint from the family concerning the fact that the body of their still born baby was not handed over to them, adding that the hospital was working on this complaint in conjunction with the police to get to the bottom of this matter.

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi

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