A Medical Superintendent at the Nkawie Government Hospital in the Ashanti Region, has shockingly defended the death of a woman during labour saying, he was called to attend a meeting in Kumasi by the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Aaron Offei.
The medical superintendent, whose name was given only as Dr. Akoto, is said to have made the disclosure to the family of the deceased in a meeting called by the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Atwima Nwabiagya, Nana Asare Bediako.
Dr. Akoto, is said to have explained that although he was aware of the condition of the deceased and had asked that she be prepared for Caesarean Section, he later changed his mind and referred the pregnant woman, Yaa Chanas Opoku, to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), because he had been summoned to a meeting.
Yaa’s family from Adarko-Jachie and Atwima Agogo all in the Ashanti Region, has petitioned Madam Sherry Ayitey, the Minister of Health to investigate the circumstances that led to her untimely death, an attempt to cover up the actual cause of death and also tempering with her corpse.
Already, the family is convinced that Yaa was “murdered” and so has mentioned Dr. Akoto and the hospital’s Midwife, Elizabeth Asabre as the ones responsible for the demise of Yaa and her unborn baby.
The family has attributed the demise of Yaa to professional negligence and cruelty on the part of the two medical officers, but wants investigations to be conducted into the death and various roles played by the two officers.
The petition sent to the Health Minister is dated February 7, 2014. Nana Yaw Offin, the Adontenhene of Adarko Jachie and head of family, Madam Yaa Pomaa, Mother of the deceased, Samuel Opoku, the widower, Kwabena Poku, a brother and Gabby Asumin, signed the petition. Mr. Asumin told The Herald that the petition has been given out to the Ministry.
This comes on the heel of missing babies at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi. The baby reported to have been delivered safely, was said to have died, however, upon the mother’s request that the corpse be given to them for burial according to Islamic rites, the hospital authorities, said the corpse could not be traced.
Also, two health facilities in the Northern Region; a private clinic in Tamale and the Bimbilla Hospital, two other children, a 10-month-old baby, Mohammed Hafiz and two-and-half-year-old Prosper Nsumba, have had their limbs amputated through professional negligence in the administration of intravenous infusion.
The two families, have separately petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for further investigations.
What is sad, however, is whilst these children could go through life managing their deformity till death; Yaa’s family lost both mother and baby.
“Hon. Minister, we the family members of the late Yaa Chanas Opoku and her unborn baby have decided to petition your office to cause an immediate investigation into the death of this poor pregnant woman because we are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the late Yaa Chanas Opoku and her unborn baby were murdered by Dr. Akoto the medical superintendent and Madam Elizabeth Asabre a midwife all of the Nkawie government hospital based on their gross professional negligence”, the petition said.
The facts in the petition state that on January 24, 2014, the deceased accompanied by one Yaa Gyamfuaa was referred to the Nkawie Government Hospital after attempt to deliver at a private clinic Atwima Makro, could not materialize because it was observed that she needed Caesarean Section (CS).
According to Gyamfuaa, at 7:30am after Yaa was given a bed, the midwife on duty Madam Asabre walked her out of the ward claiming she was going to “induce” the deceased to stimulate her.
At about 9am the same day, Gyamfuaa said in separate attempts to give Yaa water and food after she requested for them, the midwife refused her, claiming the doctor was going to perform CS on her.
Interestingly, after the inducement on Yaa had failed over two and half hours, Gyamfua said, the doctor was nowhere to be found, to start the CS.
The witness continued that at about 2:30pm when there was no sign of Dr. Akoto and the midwife had denied the family three requests to send the deceased to KATH, Madam Asabre then agreed and arranged for an ambulance to transport Yaa to KATH, claiming Dr. Akoto had ordered her to do so.
According to Gyamfuaa, less than ten minutes after the ambulance had departed from the Nkawie Government Hospital and had gotten to a town called Afari, Yaa reportedly passed away. At 3:55pm. The medical officer at KATH examined her and said she was Brought In Dead (BID), and authorities requested that Coroner’s investigation be done on her.
Already, the DCE for Atwima Nwabiagya Asare Bediako, upon hearing the controversial death of Madam Yaa, called for a meeting between the family and authorities of Nkawie Government Hospital to get first hand information, but could not resolve it entirely.
In his account at the meeting, Dr. Akoto said that he was informed by the midwife at 11:30am that contraction was going on, but at about 2pm, after six hours of the inducement had been performed by Madam Asabre, he was called by the Ashanti Regional Director of the GHS, Dr. Aaron Offei, to Kumasi.
As a result of this, he decided to refer the late Yaa Chanas Opoku to the KATH, and left the hospital at about 4pm to Kumasi and got the news of the death of this poor pregnant woman and her unborn baby at about 5:30pm while in Kumasi.
Madam Asabre, told the meeting that she performed the inducement after 7am per the instruction of Dr. Akoto.
She further told the meeting that inducement is performed in two hours interval and admitted that if after four hours of inducement, a pregnant woman fails to deliver, there would be an urgent need for CS to save both mother and child.
As to why after six hours when the induction she had performed failed, the CS was not performed on the poor pregnant woman, Madam Asabre told the meeting that she was unable to answer that question, because her duty was to inform the medical doctor, which she did.
Miss Augustina Sena, one of the nurses, who was in-charge of the ambulance told the meeting that at Afari, a few kilometres from Nkawie, Yaa’s condition became serious so she tried to put her on oxygen, but there was no oxygen tube in the ambulance and so she called her boss, Madam Asabre who instructed her to proceed to KATH. But Yaa was declared Brought In Dead by the medical officer who examined her.
The DCE, Nana Asare Bediako, in his concluding remarks charged the District Health Director, Dr. Osei Somuah who was part of the meeting to provide him a comprehensive report of the mystery leading to the death of the late Yaa Chanas Opoku and her unborn baby.
The family is seeking answers to seven questions; “Why did Dr. Akoto book the late Yaa Chanas Opoku for caesarean section (CS) on Friday, January 24 2014, yet when induction had failed at about 12 noon he refused to perform the (CS) and decided to referred the poor pregnant woman to the KATH two hours later when she was almost dead”.
“Did the regional director of the GHS in the Ashanti Region, Dr. Aron Offei invite Dr. Akoto to his office on January 24, 2014?
It said, “Madam Elizabeth Asabre must explain an allegation by Dr. Akoto that she refused to inform him (Dr. Akoto) the seriousness of the condition of the late Yaa Chanas Opoku as at 2pm when he decided to refer her to the KATH”.
“Why did Madam Elizabeth Asabre instructed Miss Augustina Sena to proceed to the KATH, when she was informed that the late Yaa Chanas Opoku condition had become serious at Afari when she (madam Elizabeth Asabre) knew that the distance from Afari to Kumasi was about five times longer than the distance from Afari back to Nkawie”.
“Who setup the ambulance to transport the late Yaa Chanas Opoku to the KATH, and did not know that there was no Oxygen tube in the ambulance”, the family demanded.
“Miss Augustina Sena must explain who tempered with the body of the late Yaa Chanas Opoku at Toase Medical Centre Mortuary, when she knew that the authorities of the KATH had requested for Coroner’s investigation”.
Why did Dr. Akoto decided to produce a fake Medical Certificate of Cause of Death on February 6, 2014 and back-dated it to January 25, 2014.