St Gregory Hospital welcomes probe into death of nine-week-old baby

BY: Rebecca Quaicoe Duho

The Administrator of the St Gregory Hospital at Gomoa Buduburam, Mr Ayegre Mathias Anaba, has welcomed any investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of a nine-week-old baby at the facility.

According to him, the Central Regional Health Directorate had put together a team which would visit the hospital on Monday, April 16, 2018 to investigate the matter.

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Already, he said, a team from the directorate had visited the facility on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 to gather first-hand information on the incident.

Background

On March 24, 2018, a nine-week-old baby boy died at the St Gregory Hospital after it was alleged that the doctor on duty had pulled the plug from the oxygen machine because the baby’s parents could not pay GH¢533 to keep their son alive.


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Speaking to the Daily Graphic in an interview, Mr Anaba said the baby, referred to as Baby Sefakor Gabada (the name of its mother because it used the mother’s health insurance card), had been admitted to the hospital on March 16, 2018.

He said the baby was initially diagnosed with bronchopneumonia, but on March 19, further tests confirmed that he had lobar pneumonia, was anaemic and had down syndrome.

Referral

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Mr Anaba noted the baby was referred to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital but the mother did not have money on her to pay for the ambulance, while the father was nowhere to be found.

He said it was at that point that he (Anaba) took interest in the case and asked for the father’s cell phone number.

However, he recalled that, when he called the number, a child picked the call and said his father had not been in the house for the past three days.

Mr Anaba said he was later informed on March 25 that the baby had passed on the previous day.

He pointed out that, he visited the ward and found that the mother and the body of the dead baby were still there, and when he asked why, the mother said she preferred to take the body home, instead of keeping it in the morgue.

Mr Anaba said even with that, the mother could not leave the hospital because she had only GH¢1.50 on her.

The administrator said he arranged for a taxi for her at a fare of GH¢10, only to hear later in the news that a doctor at the hospital had cut oxygen supply to the baby because its parents could not pay for it.

St Gregory Hospital

The St Gregory Hospital, located at Gomoa Buduburam in the Gomoa East District in the Central Region, is the only secondary healthcare facility between the Ga South Municipal Hospital in the Greater Accra Region and the Winneba Government Hospital in the Central Region.

It caters for cases referred to it from primary health facilities in the area.

Established in 2011, the Catholic hospital sees between 150 and 200 patients a day.

It takes care of all healthcare needs except eye care and radiology (X-rays) because, according to Mr Anaba, it was not well equipped in those areas.