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Opinions of Thursday, 6 March 2014

Columnist: Abdulai, Iddrisu

Independence Day Address to mention ‘missing’ baby story

It was exactly on 6 March, 57 years ago, when Nkrumah Kwame and Co. founded Ghana. One of the factors that motivated Nkrumah Kwame to fight tireless was to liberate Ghana and eventually Africa as whole. The liberty of a people strictly depends on their being alive. And being alive starts from being born. The right to life is ubiquitously recognized. . Therefore, the dreams of Kwame Nkrumah and the others are about to be whacked with the mysterious ‘disappearance’ of the promised baby of Suwaiba Abdul-Mumin along with 2 or 4 others. My usual stance is that the baby in question whose incident triggered the story of the other ‘four’ babies is alive. It is alleged that out of the 16 deliveries, 5 were declared dead by the alleged ‘baby thieves’. This figure amounts to 31.3 % mortality. How could God have done this? The alleged baby thieves are simply well motivated never to return it presumably because they are exceptionally compassionately treated. But, thank God, they are caught and are known. Nature will surely balance its own equations.

President JM’s address to Ghanaians on 6th March, 2014, will be declared incomplete if it mentions not the audacity of the doctors and nurses who are unwilling to return the stolen baby to its bona fide parents. The President needs not merely mention it, but he should outline details of a Presidential Commission to investigate the matter.

What was done by the Ministry of Health is just a mockery of the states’ human rights. In fact, the intense noise generated by the silence of the Commission on Human Rights on this matter made me to believe that there probably aren’t any human rights in Ghana again. This baby incident is beyond being handled by the Ministry of Health. The reason is that there is an obvious violation of the rules established by the Ministry for handling childbirth. Thus, what happened—trafficking of babies—is purely a criminal case. The Minister of Health demonstrated her competence in handling the matter by precipitately declaring the baby dead. The police, also institutionally incapable of dealing with the matter, maintain that they cannot declare a person dead without seeing the body.

To worsen the case, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is buzzing us with their usual empty threats. The posture of GMA confirms three suspicions. First, that doctors and nurses are more into money making than they are into fulfilling the Hippocratic Oath they swore. Apart form the fattest salaries that they are enjoying, they must still be allowed to be selling babies and human organs. We have evidence especially from KATH of doctors deliberating spoiling medical equipment to force patients to attend their private hospitals where such pieces of equipment are found. Second, that the members of GMA are unqualified. A qualified person cannot claim that overworking must necessarily lead to mistakes and that when such mistakes arise, people should consider them normal. Third, that its members’ refusal to accept postings to rural areas is simply because such businesses cannot be conducted there.

GMA—together with its members whose ulterior motivates are now becoming common knowledge—claims they will now be attending to three patients per day as dictated by international standards. I implore President JM to mandate his-about-to-be-established-missing-baby commission to demand from the doctors which standards they were employed. Were they employed by Ghanaian standards or by international standards? And if they were employed by international standards which they now want us to follow, I strongly challenge them to mention any provision in those standards that say that babies can go missing without anybody been held responsible. Their threat to go on strike in solidarity with their colleagues only shows that the proceeds of such baby sales are shared equally among them all.

It is therefore not surprising that doctors strongly supported free child delivery. Obviously, their aim is to encourage all mothers to deliver at hospitals so that they can select not only bumpy babies but also promising ones for sale. Hmm! We now know. The same doctors and hospital authorities now say that relatives of patients or expectant mothers should not accompany them to hospitals. All these being orchestrated to ensure that they can operate fully. To the silent authorities of Ghana Health Service, you should be expecting low patronage because the public no longer trust doctors, nurses and hospital authorities. The tiresome part is the shameless manner in which KATH authorities have being brazenly saying that the baby is dead, but its body is missing. Isn’t this exceptionally unprofessional?

I recommend to the President to mandate his commission to listen to testimonies of mothers. The evidence I gathered from my amateur investigation is extremely mouth boggling. The police are incompetent in handling this case. This case is one of international ranking. The President must note that the manner in which we handle this case creates a long lasting impression on the nations’ moral and cultural values. (For now, my doubt about we having rights and state institutions to enforce them is so great. Where are such institutions?).

Every evidence suggests that the case is yet to attract the deserved attention from BIG NAMES in Ghana. The President, the head of the first family of the land, must demonstrate his fatherly concern. The future of every country lies in its children including the unborn ones. Mishandling a single born baby can incur the wrath of God. The President must act.

I am particularly unhappy about the dull role played by the Gender Ministry especially when the current Minister claimed to be a human rights campaigner to the extent that she was even defending homosexuals. Churches need to devote this Sunday masses to pray for Ghana; Mosques need to do same on Fridays until the babies are found.

Before leaving you, I want you to note this: the baby is not missing. Something is missing if only you don’t know where it is. In this case, we know for sure that Madam Suweiba’s baby is with the doctor and nurses on duty at the time of her delivery. People in authority must force them to return the baby and the others.

Long live Ghana! Long Live Suweiba’s family! Long live all concerned! Idris Pacas: 020 910 15 33