The hue and cry about weak public institutions and Ghanaian leaders shirking responsibilities towards pertinent national issues has clearly been manifested in the ongoing Suwaiba Abdul Mumin missing baby saga at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi (Ghana’s second largest teaching Hospital).
All the appropriate institutions have failed to cooperate with the traumatized mother and her family in their demand for their missing newborn baby from KATH authorities, dead or alive.
It would be recalled that, on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 3:00am,
Suwaiba Abdul Mumin delivered a baby boy at the labour ward of KATH. After successful delivery, the midwives placed the baby on her chest and told her that she had a baby boy and that he weighed 4.02kg. The baby was then taken to a place she could not readily confirm whilst some post delivery procedures were being operated on her.
Some minutes later, one of the midwives returned to inform her that her son had passed away which she accepted as her fate and surrendered all to ALLAH (GOD, Almighty). She then requested to be shown the body of her dead baby so she could mourn him. Whilst waiting for her baby’s body, the sad mother was shocked to the marrow to hear from the midwives that they could not find the body.
In utter dismay, and with many questions than answers, the midwives further callously and trivially suggested the baby which had been placed in a box in the hallway may have been taken away by the orderly and burnt together with the garbage.
This tall story by the nurses made the family to be suspicious, so they started pressing for a better answer-that the child should be produced even if dead.
As we type this press statement, all efforts to retrieve the baby dead or alive have proved futile as the hospital authorities have sort to play games with it as if it is not important. The KATH authorities have exhibited sheer hypocrisy and irresponsibility in handling this issue by trying to defend this criminal activity perpetrated by their staff members who have compromised their integrity and completely fallen out of compliance with the code of ethics of the medical profession through their actions and inactions which has left poor
Suwaiba Abdul Mumin in postpartum depression for weeks now.
There is a useful maxim for all healthcare practitioners, “If it isn’t recorded, it hasn’t happened. We would like to know when the baby died, who certified the death and who recorded it.
The matter has been in the media for some time now and we have the
Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection and other government spokespersons speak on the issue but we have not heard anything from the CEO of KATH yet.
Unfortunately, the Ghana Police Service in Kumasi which is supposed to be the appropriate quarters to address this criminal offense has exhibited gross unprofessionalism and negligence towards it and has been unable to retrieve the baby from KATH for the frustrated mother, Suwaiba.
Instead, they have succeeded in diverting attention from the main case by arresting some Zango Youth who had embarked on a protest to register their indignations after weeks of waiting on KATH authorities to hand over the missing baby to the mother.
It is our expectation that, the police would have taken the missing baby’s case seriously since it bothers on complicity criminality but they have abandoned it and allowed the perpetrators of this heinous crime to walk freely on the streets with impunity. The negligence of the police in this case just tells us that we do not have a responsible police service and that we are not safe in our environments anymore.
And these same police want us to trust them to maintain law and order in our communities? No wonder lawlessness abounds everywhere in Ghana and you have individuals taking the laws of the land into their own hands.
Though it took Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection a long time to speak on a case that falls under her jurisdiction, we say better late than never. But still, we expect her to give this case the same attention she has previous given to cases that have to do with practices that are considered immoral and alien to Ghanaian culture like homosexuality and gay rights.
We believe there is absolutely nothing that is in breach of human right than what is happening to our sister Suwaiba now. We are appealing to Nana Oye Lithur to take a more pragmatic approach in solving this surmountable problem than merely granting interviews on radios and televisions.
This is just one of typical Ghanaian ethos when it comes to problem solving. We want to see action. One person who is conspicuously missing in action in all efforts to mount pressure on KATH authorities to produce the baby dead or alive is the MP for Asawase, Alhaji Mubarak Muntaka. We believe he can do a lot to help solve this situation but he is not being heard on the issue as expected.
We know he can help make this national issue by raising it in parliament just as some of his colleagues have done in the past and that has the tendency to put pressure on KATH authorities to take this case seriously. Alhaji Muntaka’s silence on the whole issue shows he doesn’t care and this is unfortunate considering the fact that people like our sister Suwaiba and others have queued in line to vote for
him during elections.
His inability to publicly add his voice to the calls being made for KATH authorities to produce the baby dead or alive makes some us
doubt his commitment to fight for his own constituents in situations like this and is not a good thing.
The Ghana medical Association, the Judicial Service of Ghana and the Regional Security Council of Ashanti Region have all shown how corrupt and weak their outfits are .This indeed shows a grave dereliction of duty from their outfit. All these institutions have lent a deaf-mute to this case.
We would like to acknowledge the efforts of brothers like Alhassan Suhuyini, Bernard Mornah, Hon. Murtala Mohammed, Dr. Clement Apaak and Dr. Tony Aidoo for adding their voice to the masses and making this a national issue by calling on the KATH authorities to produce the baby dead or alive on Radio Gold’s news analysis program, ‘Alhaji and Alhaji’.
We are happy this issue is being given the media coverage it deserves because it bothers not just on perceive complicity but also, a serious breach of human right of a Ghanaian.
We hope others like Hon. Mubarak Muntaka will follow suit. We also have to respect the petition filed by the office of our Eminent Chief Imam, Sheikh Alhaji Osman Nuhu Sharubutu to the presidency appealing to the president to intervene in this matter and help retrieve the baby.
So far, we can conclusively and convincingly say that, all appropriate channels as far as diplomacy have been followed to press for our demand for justice for our demoralized sister, Suwaiba but no fruitful results has been yielded from them over the last three weeks.
In the light of this, we are giving the KATH authorities, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, The Ghana Police Service and all government institutions that have the jurisdiction to seek justice for Suwaiba to do so by Friday 28th February, 2014, otherwise we will advise ourselves accordingly by employing the appropriate democratic and constitutional instruments available to us to seek redress.
It is our fervent hope that justice should prevail before the aforesaid date. We also give our moral support to our dear sister Suwaiba as she is going through this postpartum depression. We are not demanding too much: All we want is for the baby to be giving back to his mother, dead or alive
Alhaji Baba Suwari (USA)
Fauzan Shamsudeen (UK)
Ababa Abdul Karim (CANADA)
Fawaz Gruzah (UK)
Saani Salifu (CHINA)
Maazu Muftawu (USA)
Mohammed Mukafa Ali (USA)
Mohammed Kamil (USA)