Update on the strike action at KATH, Kumasi
In the wake of the recent attack on staff of the OBGYN ward of KATH , there have been isolated incidences of alleged renewed attacks on nurses in ordinary clothing going home. Few nurses who risk coming to work do so in fear. Most inpatients have been transferred to nearby facility pending a call off of the strike. At the time of posting this , management was in a meeting with doctors on how best to resolve the crises.
It is interesting to note that a strongly worded letter is making rounds on social media . csforumonline.com cannot independently verify the source .Below is a copy
We are compelled to publicly respond and correct some deliberate distortions created by the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). Our initial inclination of dialogue as the ultimate alternative to resolving very difficult matters has been betrayed. Our pain has been deepened by concocted events and malicious attempts to discredit our story and recreate convenient tales with the sole purpose to make the public believe we are being difficult and uncooperative.
On Wednesday, February 5, 2014, at 3:00am, Suwaiba Abdul Mumin, our wife, sister and daughter delivered a baby boy at the labour ward of KATH. The midwives who supervised the procedure, placed the baby on her chest immediately after delivery, they subsequently informed her the baby was a male and weighs 4.02kg. The baby was then taken away to a place she could not readily confirm, while her mother was being attended to.
Few minutes later, one of the midwives came back to alert the happy mother her son had passed on. The instantly traumatized mother had no choice, but to accept her fate. She then requested to be shown the body of her baby so she could mourn her dead. She was assured by the midwives to relax and recover since the body was kept safely for her collection.
In pain and shock, Suwaiba, on her way from the delivery room to another ward collapsed but was quickly revived. Later, one of the midwives brought a document and asked her to thumbprint, with an explanation of the said document being part of the medical procedure that must be undertaken before the body of her alleged dead baby is made available to her which she desperately obliged.
While patiently waiting for her baby’s body to personally confirm the death, the troubled mother had a horrific shock of her life when the midwives told her they could not find the body. While in utter dismay with many questions than answers, the midwives further callously and trivially suggested the baby which had been placed in a box may have been taken away by a labourer and burnt together with garbage.
These suggestions were later confirmed as false when a family delegation upon hearing the horrendous story visited the hospital for clarification. Upon questioning the labourer, he admitted to have seen a box but did not burn any garbage on the said night, let alone a baby. His version was also corroborated by KATH authorities as the said incinerator has not been used for five clear days prior to the delivery and was never used on the said Wednesday as well.
Our many pending questions!!!
Where is the baby?
Was he really dead?
If yes, where is the body?
These are questions that KATH must furnish the family and the entire country with.
We reported the matter to the police who arrested the labourer and placed him in custody. He was later granted bail. The police subsequently invited the midwives who were present when Suwaiba delivered to come to the police station to give their statements. Later, when we inquired progress from the police, we were told the midwives were uncooperative; they would not report to the police to have their statements taken. This stance revealed two things; the midwives were not ready to help the family retrieve their baby (dead or alive) and the police were not committed to finding solutions to our puzzle.
Questions came again!!!
How could the police, our final resort, pretend to be helpless in investigating such serious matter because the suspects will not co-operate?
Are the police not vested with the authority to arrest such persons?
The conduct of the police was most unfortunate and only sort to deepen the depressing inconsolable grief of the family.
In the face of the attitude of KATH and the police, the enraged youth in the community who could not make any meaning of the deliberate tragic drama being pursued by two State institutions, seemingly scratching each other’s back decided to go to KATH and demand for the body of the baby. Their peaceful march was met with insults and physical abuse from staff of KATH and this resulted in a violent clash leading to the arrest of some of the members of the group.
It must be noted with regret that the Police who were initially reluctant in finding solutions to our problem, suddenly found their strength and muscle. They were at their best, with about hundreds of them heavily armed with an objective of arresting few unarmed disenchanted youth amidst beatings and torture.
If you know our community very well, we live together and are bonded by strong ties. They would not easily be deterred by these cheap and wicked acts if they so choose, nevertheless, we have embarked on a campaign to plead with the aggrieved youths not to take the law into their own hands.
For now, we are incredibly disgusted at the current twist of events:
1. Media platforms are now inundated with KATH’s version of the story
2. Organized public relations department of KATH has decided to exaggerate and make wild claims of physical abuse of its staff in connivance with the police to seek public sympathy
3. They now seek public and media attention by focusing on tricks i.e. striking with an excuse of not being safe as a ploy to destroy our demand
4. The police making bizarre charges against the youth they have arrested as a way of intimidating the family and coercing us to agree to a quiet settlement to kill our demand
Finally, we scoff at the attempt by the leadership of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and a section of the media to make the suspects in this case look like victims. Let everyone pause and put himself in the shoes of Suwaiba or her husband. Let those who think that all what is happening is just a storm in a tea cup understand that if other midwives had done same to them when they were born, they would not be the doctors, nurses, policemen, lawyers and teachers among others that they are today.
We hereby state categorically that we would get our baby alive or dead. If the police choose to focus on KATH to the neglect of our family, they are wrong. We shall not give up. This is just the beginning.
* the KATH should be KATH
Mohammed Abdul Rahman