Health News of Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Source: The Ghanaian Times
Some pregnant women have accused nurses at the maternity ward of extorting money from them and turning the ward into a ‘market’.
“The nurses do not only extort money which they have christened ‘malt money’ from us but they have also turned the ward into a market where they sell goods at very exorbitant prices, a pregnant woman told the Times here yesterday.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said the nurses demand the ‘malt money’ from their husbands when they accompany them to the ward.
“We buy a plastic cup for GH¢1 on the open market, but it is sold at the ward for GH¢4. Other items such as sanitary pads, mackintosh, pampers, socks, detergents among others are also sold at very high prices as compared to those on the open market.”
Some pregnant women also alleged that the nurses collect items that they bring to the hospital and re-sell them leaving them with no option than to buy the items sold at high prices.
They also indicated that some of the nurses’ attitude towards them, when they go to deliver, was appalling, adding that the nurses either shout or frown at them and sometimes refuse to answer questions when they make enquiries.
Nurses are also alleged to sell baby food to nursing mothers immediately after delivery to feed a day-old baby, a practice which is against the exclusive breastfeeding method preached by nutritionists and other health practitioners who indicate that exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of the child’s life was the best food for proper child growth.
“Some nurses collect GH¢10 after feeding your day old baby and it is too costly,” a nursing mother at the maternity ward revealed, adding that the maternity ward is not a restaurant.
Responding to the allegations, the Head of Maternity Ward at the Koforidua Central Hospital, Doctor Kwame Anim Boamah, said the hospital was aware of nurses selling, adding that they were allowed to sell because some pregnant women refuse to bring the required items when they come to deliver.
He, however, stated that after delivery, nursing mothers were not forced to buy those items being sold at the maternity ward, stressing that if a patient does not want to buy, a relative who is around would be asked to buy the items from outside the hospital.
Doctor Boamah pointed out that the nurses sell to them at their convenience because most of the time patients are left stranded, making the work of nurses very difficult.
When asked about whether some of the nurses demand monies from nursing mothers after delivery, he denied, saying, “My attention has not been drawn to that, they might have done that to seek for appreciation”.
Some nurses at the maternity ward, however, refused to comment on the issue when they were approached for their response.