General News of Thursday, 3 April 2014

Source: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie | Ultimate Radio

Missing Baby @ KATH: Report fails to locate missing stillborns

Ultimate Radio has laid hands on a copy of the full report put together by management of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) after it investigated the controversial missing stillborns saga on the orders of the Ministry of Health.

The report failed to mention the whereabouts of the missing stillborns, and did not also implicate any staff for any wrongdoing. It, however, revealed that the woman at the centre of the saga, Suwaiba Mumuni, reported at the KATH four days after she was referred to the Hospital, a situation that endangered her foetus.

The actions of the Health Ministry in relation to the incident were directly connected to this report signed by the outgoing Chief Executive of the Hospital, Professor Ohene Adjei. Attached is a summary of the seven-page report.

Summary: KATH Report on five stillborn babies delivered on 5th February

The report from the Komfo Anokye teaching hospital signed by the Chief Executive Officer, Professor Ohene Adjei, stated that a total of 30 deliveries and four Stillbirths were recorded on the day and not 16 deliveries and 5 Stillbirths as earlier reported.

With specific reference to Suwaiba Mumuni’s delivery, It stated that she was referred from Amaamata Memorial Maternity Clinic as a case of postdatism on 31st January 2014. She, however, reported at KATH on 4th February 2014, four days after she was referred from Amaamata Clinic.

The doctor after attending to her at consulting room 8 processed her for admission to ward A4 the same day. The Team on duty at ward A4 saw her that same day at 3:20pm. She was clerked and examined by a House Officer and the Resident Doctor on duty.

Detailing how her delivery took place, the report stated; Madam Suwaiba had been positioned in the second stage bed at 3:40am following full dilatation. She was encouraged to push with contractions and delivered at 3:50am just around the same time the Resident Doctor came to the labour ward from ward A3. The outcome was a dead male foetus that had the umbilical cord tightly wrapped around the neck twice.

The dead baby weighed 4.2kgs. The baby was fresh stillbirth with post maturity syndrome (Dried, cracked, desquamated skin with meconium staining of membranes), the skin at his back side had peeled off with an umbilical cord that looked greenish in color.

Confirming that Madam Suwaiba acknowledged consent of the death of her baby, it states; the midwife showed the dead baby to Madam Suwaiba to identify the sex and also to agree to the fact that it did not cry and was dead at delivery. According to the midwife, she was reluctant to accept that her baby was dead initially, but she later agreed to that declaration.

Madam Suwaiba subsequently thumb printed in the labour ward’s stillbirth records book and also in her folder to agree to the death of the baby by standard protocol followed by the labour ward.

On disposing off of the stillborn babies on the day, the report indicates that; in each of the stillbirths recorded on that fateful day, the above protocol was followed. Unfortunately, the bodies of three of the stillbirths could not be accounted for because the orderly on duty that day allegedly took the bodies to the incinerator.

It states that Madam Suwaiba’s baby after it was shown to her to identify the sex and confirm his death by thumb printing the necessary documents; it was weighed, wrapped with the mothers’ cloth and put in a box which was placed at where stillbirths are kept in transit to the mortuary.

At least by the report, that is how far the issue of the missing babies ends. It gives no indication about the whereabouts of the missing bodies, neither does it implicate any medical staff for any wrongdoing.

On recommendations, the hospital stated; the Hospital and the Ministry of Health should as a matter of urgency address the congestion at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department to help improve the quality of maternal health care.

The acute congestion at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology directorate of the hospital continue to impact negatively on the provision of quality maternal health care despite the best efforts of staff.

The daily average bed occupancy rate is between 160 and 185 percent over the past three years. This is twice the acceptable standard. This has been compounded by inadequate equipment, critical for the management of obstetric emergencies.