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General News of Friday, 10 August 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Family hunts runaway father for impregnating mentally challenged woman

The family of a mentally challenged woman who was impregnated by an unknown man and was delivered of twins are hunting for the man responsible for the act.

“Our daughter has been sick for some time now. We have roamed a lot of places in search of cure but we have not been successful. Some months ago, we realised that she was pregnant. We have been looking for the man who did it,” Mr Ransford Asare Budu, an uncle of the mother of twins, told The Mirror.

The plight of the 35-year-old mentally disturbed woman, Baby Ama, who lives in Asarekrom, a village in the Birim North District of the Eastern Region, shocked many in the community when she gave birth on June 22, 2018.

Interestingly, the community is about 15-minutes’ walk from three adjoining communities named after genitals—‘Shoa ye mobor’, ‘Kote ye aboa’ and Etwe nim nyansa’—that recently shot into national and international spotlight when their member of Parliament (MP) sought to know when they would be connected to electricity.

In Twi, while ‘Shoa ye mobor’ means “testicles are miserable”, ‘Kote ye aboa’ loosely translates as “Penis is a fool”, with ‘Etwe nim nyansa’ meaning “Vagina is wise”.

He said one of Ama’s cousins was returning home one evening when she heard a baby crying. She dashed there only to find that Ama had given birth.

“She called for help and the traditional birth attendant realised that there was still another baby inside the womb. By God’s grace, in no time, she gave birth to the second one,” he stated.

He said the family immediately decided that Ama would not feed the babies given her mental situation, hence the following day, they bought infant milk for the babies.

The babies were also handed over to one of Ama’s cousins to be taken care of.

Mr Badu said after the delivery, a nearby clinic was informed and a nurse came to cut the umbilical cords of the babies and the necessary medications given them.

Antenatal care

From the 12th week of the pregnancy, Ama received antenatal care from the Abokyikrom CHPS Compound.

The nurse who took care of her, Mrs Elizabeth Kroffa, told The Mirror that the task was not easy but she received immense support from Ama’s family.

“Sometimes when I come, she would refuse the injection, checking of her blood pressure or taking her medication but the family members would calm her down for me to administer all the drugs and vaccines, including tetanus from 16 weeks. Every month, I gave her all the necessary medications,” she said.

She added that Ama went through the antenatal care but the delivery occurred in the evening under the supervision of a traditional birth attendant.

“By God’s grace, she delivered safely without any complications,” she said.

Mrs Kroffa, said though she was initially scared, she eventually got used to Ama and enjoyed taking care of her, adding that “a person’s mental state should never be a hindrance to receiving medical care. She is human and that is what matters”.

Medical check-up

Meanwhile, the Abirim Government Hospital sent a medical team led by a Physician, Mr Enoch Yeboah, to assess the medical state of Ama and the babies and to determine the kind of medical support she needed.

They supported Ama with medications, some of which are not on the list of the National Health Insurance Scheme and needed to be bought by families of patients.

“We contributed to buy some of the medications. The hospital sent us here to assess the situation and take the necessary measures to ensure that the babies and their mother were safe and healthy,” he added.

A Community Mental Health Officer, Ms Priscilla Serwa, said Ama would be cared for until she was okay.

“We will be visiting her frequently, monitoring her weekly or monthly to ensure that she fully recovers. The good thing is that she lives with her family who can easily offer the necessary support,” she explained.