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Opinions of Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Columnist: Daily Post

MOH, Nurses & Midwives, KATH toying with Suwaiba’s emotions

The treatment that is being meted out to 42-year old Suwaiba Abdul Mumin of Aboabo, Kumasi after the baby boy she delivered at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) went missing is tantamount to adding insult to injury.

All stakeholders in this case, from the Ministry of Health through the Nurses & Midwives Council to the authorities of the KATH are going about the case as if the issue at stake is not one of life or death. None of the stakeholders is behaving as if the baby is alive and every second endangers his life wherever he is. None of the stakeholders are going about the case as if it involves the emotions of a mother.

Can any individual among the stakeholders go to bed one night or sleep peacefully not knowing whether his or her son is dead or alive or where his or her son is? Yet, that is the excruciating agony Suwaiba goes through every night while each individual among the stakeholders sleep peacefully in their air-conditioned room with their children next door.

Yesterday, the Minister for Health, Madam Sherry Ayittey announced that the Ministry has received the report on the matter from the authorities at KATH. It is therefore waiting for that of the Nurses & Midwives Council. She said hopefully, the crux of the matter will be known by the end of this week.

This assurance is not good enough. In fact, the MoH’s 14day ultimatum to KATH to produce the baby was a slap in the face of the grieving mother. Was the 14 days necessary seeing that from the date of delivery, 22 days had already passed with KATH unable to produce the baby?

Why give them an extra 14 days, bringing the total number of days to 36? Can the Minister, her deputy or any of the stakeholders wait for 36 days to know the fate of their stolen child?

As someone said, there is no way KATH can provide the baby? Giving them extra 14 days is to give them extra 14 days to cover-up criminal conduct. The police should have taken over the whole case, investigated and prosecute all those feared culpable. But nay, that has not been done. The 14 days ultimatum ends today but the MoH says the crux of the matter will be known by closed this week. Why?

As for the Nurses & Midwives Council, it is clear getting to the bottom of the case is not going to be their headache. All they will be seeking to do is to find ways to exonerating their members involved. That they do not care about Suwaiba or the trauma she has gone through can be seen in the way they have virtually summoned her to appear before them tomorrow so they would hear her side of the story.

If they really empathize with her, shouldn’t they be the ones to go to Kumasi to visit her, commiserate with her and listen to her side of the story

The behavior of the authorities of KATH in this whole saga has been disgusting to say the least. That they cannot produce the body of the baby they claim is dead is already a vexation to the spirit.

Then there is the attempt to cover-up the theft which backfired. Now, we are told they have completed their investigations and submitted the report to the Minister for Health. How could they complete their investigation into the matter without talking to Suwaiba, the woman whose baby has been stolen? One can guess how one-sided the report will be.

The Golden rule says “do unto others as you want others to do unto you.” Have the stakeholders treated Suwaiba the way they would have loved to be treated if they were in her shoes?

Stakeholders must stop playing games with Suwaiba’s emotions. They must remember that like them, in her chest, there beats a heart!