YEN.com.gh can report that a pregnant woman was neglected by medical staff when she was in labour at the Ejisu Hospital in the Ashanti Region. The woman had visited the hospital in November to deliver her child, but the health workers at the facility put up an unwholesome attitude leading to the death of the baby boy. In an exclusive interview with YEN.com.gh, the victim, 30-year-old Esther Amponsah, said upon reaching the hospital in the afternoon, she found the doors to the labour ward closed and so she opened to gain access.
According to her, the hospital looked deserted, with no many workers at post probably because it was a Sunday. But as she stayed in the labour ward for some time, she realised that no hospital staff was coming to her despite the many shouts and calls to be attended to. Esther said she wondered why she was greeted with such an attitude because she had honoured all her antenatal appointment at that hospital throughout her pregnancy period. At a point, she felt she needed to be at a place where she could at least attract the attention of the nurses to help her deliver her baby, therefore, she moved to sit on the bare floor in the corridor. All that while, Esther was in labour pain and calling on the nurses but no one minded her. At last, the baby’s head appeared and gathering the little strength left in her, she managed to put some clothes on the floor in order for the baby to fall on them.
Madam Amponsah and her husband looking very sad after the incident when YEN.com.gh visited their home in the Ashanti Region. Photo credit: YEN.com.gh
That was when a nurse came to meet her, but this nurse said she was not in the position to help, and so was going to call a midwife to attend to Esther, but she never showed up again. According to the woman, several appeal to the young nurse to help her deliver the baby, who had the umbilical cord around his neck and body, were in vain. Instead, she insisted on going to call a midwife and slotted earpiece into her ears and went away. “That was the last time I saw her, as I looked at her in pain while she went into one of the rooms and never returned,” Esther told YEN.com.gh. The helpless mother saw that the baby had come out by itself but had the umbilical cord tied around his neck and body, with fluids in his mouth and nostrils and so he could not breathe. After many minutes, the midwife appeared but unfortunately, the baby had already died.
According to her, the midwife loaded heaps insults on her for being “careless” with the delivery, and blamed her for the death of the baby. Later, the hospital sent a delegation to the house to beg Esther and the family asking them to “sweep the matter under the carpet”.
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But there are questions begging for answers: Where was the midwife when the woman was calling for her? Is it the norm to have a pregnant woman deliver on her own? Are government health workers not supposed to be at post all days, including weekends? And why would the hospital send a delegation to beg the family to be tight-lipped on the matter? When YEN.com.gh visited the hospital in the Ashanti Region to speak with the hospital authorities, they declined to comment. A visit to the Municipal Health Office was in vain as the authorities there also refused to comment on the issue. Calls made to the phone of Mary Amponsah Kodua, the acting deputy municipal health director, went unanswered for days. When she finally responded to the calls, she said: “I have just taken over and acting so I cannot comment on this. Go to the hospital”.
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