A medical doctor in Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala is not having it easy after a patient lost her child at birth.
Speaking to Mimi Mefo Info, the husband to the victim, Terence, said he is just lucky he didn’t lose his wife in the process.
The clinic, he says, “… neglected my wife during delivery and my child passed away… They initiated delivery and couldn’t continue and asked us to seek help elsewhere.”
Terence says his baby passed away due to the negligence of medical staff at the private health care facility.
On Monday morning, her water broke and they rushed her to the hospital where she had been getting pre-natal care.
A few hours after, he narrates, “the labour proper started and the midwives there initiated delivery. The baby’s head and one arm came out, and they continued with the push process to no avail. They later called the doctor several times but he was slow to respond.”
Scared of losing both his wife and the kid, Terence says he also placed a call to the doctor but he failed to respond.
He would later show up and reveal that the birth process was complicated, and would require an operation he couldn’t perform.
Transferred to a mission hospital at the Cemetier Kotto Bass neighborhood, Terence’s predicament was far from over.
“We arrived there but they refused to attend to us, and sent us to the Bonassama hospital. We went there but it was already late,” he explained.
After the dead baby was pulled out, Terence says he and his wife noticed some abnormalities that made them further doubt medical practitioners at the first health care center they visited.
Medics at the facility, the same ones that attended to his wife during her pre-natal care period, he says, had carried out a number of tests and procedures on his wife.
“… they told us that the child is a female,” he stated, “but my child was a boy. Secondly, from their last check ups, the child weight was 2.70 but the baby came out to be 5.7.”
“The nurses there said he [the doctor in question] had so much to drink the previous day,” Terence claimed further.
Reaching out to the medical doctor in question for comment, he expressed the belief that the patient’s husband’s utterances were from a place of pain and grief.
The case, he explains, was a medical condition known as shoulder dystocia, as the baby was stuck at the mother’s pelvis.
“I have delivered over 200 babies, operated thousands, but recorded no mortalities. I have had over ten women who have come to deliver after the incident…,” the doctor declared.
When he saw the patient at 26 weeks of pregnancy, he says, all was well with her medically and there was no cause for alarm.
Referring her to a bigger and more equipped medical facility at the time of the birth, he notes, was the best he could do to save her life and that of her kid.
His words: “I am not God; I cannot deliberately allow a mother or a child to die… My conscience is clean, I would take the blame if the baby did not come out, but that was not the case.”
The infant mortality rate in Cameroon in 2019 stood at 50.2 deaths for every 1,000 births with the most frequent cases resulting from neonatal causes.
Neonatal-related deaths stood at 37%, malaria at 28% and pneumonia at 15%.