A few minutes later, one of the midwives came back to alert the happy mother that her son had passed on. The instantly traumatised mother had no choice, but to accept her fate. She then requested to be shown the body of her baby, so that she could mourn his death. She was assured by the midwives to relax and recover since the body was kept safely for her collection.
Mr Speaker, in pain and shock, Suwaiba, on her way from the delivery room to another ward collapsed but was quickly revived. Later, one of the midwives brought a document and asked her to thumbprint, with an explanation of the said document being part of the medical procedure that must be undertaken before the body of her alleged dead baby was made available to her, which she desperately obliged.
Mr Speaker, while patiently waiting for her baby's body to be delivered as promised, the troubled mother had a horrific shock of her life when the midwives told her they could not find the body. While in utter dismay with many questions than answers, the midwives further callously and trivially suggested that the baby which had been placed in a box might have been taken away by a labourer and burnt together with garbage.
Mr Speaker, a family delegation, upon hearing the horrendous story, visited the
hospital for clarification. Upon questioning the labourer, he admitted having seen a box but did not burn any garbage on the said night, let alone a baby. His version was also corroborated by KATH authorities as the said incinerator had not been used for five clear days prior to the delivery and was never used on the said Wednesday as well.
Mr Speaker, the questions left on one's mind would be, where is the baby and whether he was really dead?
Mr Speaker, the family explained to me that, they reported the case to the police, who arrested the labourer and placed him in custody. He was later granted bail. The police subsequently invited the midwives who were present when Suwaiba delivered to come to the police station to give their statements. Later, when they inquired progress from the police, they were told the midwives were unco-operative as they would not report to the police to have their statements taken.
Mr Speaker, in the face of the attitude of some KATH staff and the police, the enraged youth in the community who could not make any meaning of the deliberate tragic drama being pursued by two State institutions, decided to embark on a peaceful march to the KATH, which I must admit, was wrong. This is because the hospital should be the last place anyone would want to carry on a demonstration, whether peaceful or not.
However, the young men claimed they were met with insults and physical abuse from staff of KATH and this resulted in a violent clash leading to the arrest of some of the members of the group and the doctors and nurses at the KATH went on strike.
Mr Speaker, upon several efforts by the Regional Security Council, led by the
able Regional Minister, calm has since returned to both KATH and the community in my constituency. I am happy to note that, the effort of the Ministry of Health and the Attorney- General and Ministry for Justice has led to some arrests and charges preferred against seven persons connected with the missing baby. In the course of the investigation, it was realised that four (4) other babies could also not be accounted for at the same ward at KATH.
Mr Speaker, there is the need for much deeper investigation to be done by carrying out public fora in all the regions of Ghana for persons who might have suffered the same fate as Suwaiba, to come out, so that we would be better informed how to restructure our facilities to prevent this occurrence.
Mr Speaker, it is important to state that, all persons involved -- doctors, nurses, the family and the community must remain calm and support the State agencies that are investigating this matter to enable them expedite action on it without further delay. We should all remain interested in this matter to the end.
Mr Speaker, I would want to appeal to all persons resident in Ghana to be vigilant and observant and report any suspicious person who is found with a baby that might not be theirs to the nearest police station, to assist the security agencies to get to the bottom of this case faster.
Mr Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all persons and institutions that have supported this case and the family in one way or the other, especially, the Regional Minister and his team, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and her team, the Minister for Health and her team, the security agencies and the National Chief Imam and his team.
Mr Speaker, I wish to state lastly that, time is of great essence in this case and I
wish those handling this case a great success to enable us continue to keep the calm atmosphere that has returned to my constituency.
I thank you, Mr Speaker, once again, for this opportunity.