The Director of Laquintinie hospital in Douala, Prof Essomba Noel Emmanuel, has refuted reports that a newborn was stolen from its mother at the hospital on Friday, March 31.
In a release on April 3, he blamed poor communication among midwives, who attended to Bell Esther Aurelie, the woman who said her baby was stolen.
Aurelie told MMI on Monday that she had not seen her baby since it was born on Friday, March 31.
Worst still, she was not given any valid explanation as to the whereabouts of the newborn baby, and her “relatives were prevented” from seeing her at the hospital.
But in Prof Essomba Noel’s statement, he said “there was no baby theft” at Laquintinie Hospital, adding that “there is a lack of communication between the staff and the family.”
He reiterated what the midwives had told Aurelie – that the baby was born prematurely and it died at birth and was disposed in a septic tank.
“In fact, the young lady concerned, who arrived under the threat of a late abortion, gave birth to a non-viable ‘fetus’,” the Director said.
“The action of one of our trainees having escaped the knowledge of our midwives, unfortunately, led to the evacuation of this waste product in the sink. Only when she wakes up, the young lady will be resistant to the explanations given by them; a series of misunderstandings then ensued.”
He said news about the baby theft brought “shame on the health system of the country in general and of the said institution in particular”, adding that it was “an embarrassing situation”.
As she spoke to MMI on Monday, Esther Bell Aurelie said she had been confined at the hospital alone for the past three days and her family was not allowed to visit.
She also claimed her communication was restricted, fueling suspicions of wrongdoing by the hospital authorities, who maintained sealed lips.
She told MMI that her baby was born when she was eight months pregnant and that she want the foetus of her baby if “it came out in piece.”
“I gave birth three days ago […]. That was one month to my due date, I was later told by the medical staff that the baby was thrown in a Septic tank… I arrived at Laquintinie hospital with my husband, my mother, and my sister-in-law. They were denied access into the delivery ward. They said visitors do not have the right to enter the delivery room, whereas the mother of my neighbor at the delivery room was permitted to see her daughter regularly,” Aurelie told MMI.
Mimi Mefo Info