The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Kumasi, Professor Ohene Adjei, has been asked to proceed on accumulated leave with immediate effect, in relation to the missing babies who were born at the health facility recently.
The directive, issued by the Minster of Health, Sherry Ayittey yesterday, followed the inability of the hospital to produce the alleged stillborn babies of Suwaiba Abdul Mumin and two other women.
The ‘proceed on leave’ order has set tongues wagging as to whether Prof Ohene Adjei would ever be called back, in view of the poor handling of issues at the hospital.
Ms Ayittey had given the KATH management 14 days to produce the missing babies dead or alive, but as at yesterday, there was still no clue as to their whereabouts.
Meanwhile, the board of KATH has been directed by the Minister to appoint a senior person in management to take over and inform the Ministry accordingly.
The doctor involved in the case and the midwife, under whose supervision the three purported stillborn babies went missing, have also been directed to continue their indefinite leave until their supervising bodies had submitted their final reports and decisions taken.
Ms Ayittey also directed the Medical and Dental Council as well as the Nursing and Midwifery Council that had asked for extension of time for the final submission of their reports, to do so not later than April 15, 2014.
Outlining its decision based on preliminary reports submitted by the Medical and Dental Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Ms. Ayittey said investigations revealed that laid-down procedures for disposing of still-births were not followed at KATH.
“Still-births are discharged to the mortuary attendant; this is booked by the attendant in a register but there is no evidence that was carried out in the case of the three stillborns,” she stated.
KATH had reported that it had followed the protocol of showing a newborn baby to its mother to identify its sex. This was to offer evidence of whether it was alive or stillborn, followed by the mother’s thumbprint in the still-birth record book to confirm or certify the information about the baby’s status.
On the other hand, the Minister said investigations disclosed that the bodies of the three stillborn babies could not be accounted for because the orderly on duty, who was supposed to put the dead babies in a box to the mortuary, allegedly took the babies to the incinerator.
“Madam Suwaiba Mumin’s baby, after it was shown to her to identify the sex and confirm its death by thumb printing the necessary document, was weighed, wrapped with the mother’s cloth and put in a box which was placed at where still-births are kept in transit to the mortuary. Unfortunately, this baby happens to be one of three babies allegedly picked up by the orderly and disposed of,” she said.
The sector minister also said investigations showed that the midwives at KATH did not document certain vital activities as they claimed. The midwives, who admitted Madam Suwaiba in the labour ward, did not confer with their colleagues at the ante-natal ward on the issue of absence of foetal heart rate, which they realized upon admitting her.
“There was no communication between the doctor and the midwife who was at the theatre. Records made available to the team do not indicate that the midwives at the ante-natal ward monitored the client between 4:30 pm until she was transferred to the labour ward at 10:00 pm,” Ms. Ayittey said.
The overall conclusion of the report, Ms. Ayittey indicated, was that care given to Suwaiba during her delivery at KATH was poor and therefore warranted the actions taken to solve the problem.
She thanked the family of Suwaiba Mumin for their cooperation and patience, while the ministry continued to probe into the matter to find a solution to the unfortunate incident.
“The ministry is in the process of facilitating a meeting with Madam Suwaiba and her family to find an amicable settlement to the unfortunate incident,” Ms. Ayittey said.
Some weeks ago, a stillborn baby of Suwaiba Abdul Mumin, went missing at KATH as the alleged dead baby could not be traced by hospital authorities.
KATH claimed the body had been burnt but family members insisted the baby was not dead and were therefore asking the hospital to produce the baby.
Source: Daily Guide