17.09.2004 Tabloid News

Hospital clarifies story on abandoned baby

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Accra, Sept 17, GNA- The Holy Family Hospital at Nkawkaw has come out with its version of the story on the abandoned baby recently published by the media.

A letter, signed by Dr Kwasi Amuzu, Medical Superintendent, and Mr Isaac Ato Mensah, Hospital Administrator, in reaction to the story on the baby delivered at the Hospital but detained over its family's inability to pay the hospital bills said the lady in question, Yaa Serwaa, had a previous delivery by Caesarean section at the Hospital and was put on charity.

The letter which was in reaction to a story filed by the Ghana News Agency, and published by the Ghanaian Times newspaper and other media, stated that Yaa Serwaa was brought in on June 21, 2004, in labour and taken home on July 13 2004.

For the period that she was in the Hospital neither a relative nor caretaker turned up, she was fed and taken care of by the Staff, and was provided clothing by the hospital.

She did not pay any hospital bill, and that at the time of her discharge there was still nobody to take her home even though she was disabled.

On July 13, a team from the Hospital, led by the Hospital's Social Worker went with the lady and the Baby to their village, Akoasi near Nkawkaw and reported to the Chief, who received them.

The letter said " The Social Worker foresaw that the baby could be in difficulty if left in the hands of the mother and the grandmother given the treatment meted out to Yaa Serwaa by the family whilst in hospital. The Social Worker therefore agreed to take the baby. This agreement took place at the Chief's palace in the presence of the Odikro."

The letter stated the hospital had done good works in terms of charity, for that reason many patients in the district and beyond who felt they could not pay hospital bills reported to the Hospital. These were done against an electricity debt of 180,000,000 cedis with threats of disconnection, and said the hospital rather deserved commendation.

The GNA Correspondent at Nkawkaw , however, made diligent efforts to get to the Hospital's side of the story from Mr Mensah, the Hospital Administrator, but it was to no avail.

He approached the Hospital Adminstrator three times, but the Administrator refused to comment on the issue, and asked him to go and bring the victims from the village first.

At a point in time, the GNA Correspondent reported the matter to Dr Opare, the District Director of Health Services at Atibie, who asked him go back to the Nkawkaw Hospital to resolve the issue with the Hospital authorities, yet Mr Mensah did not co-operate.

The Ghanaian Times newspaper in its September 11, 2004 edition carried a story by the Ghana News Agency, reporting that the authorities of the Nkawkaw Holy Family Hospital had detained a three-and-half month old baby boy delivered by a disabled woman who failed to pay her accumulated bills.

The woman, Yaa Serwaa, 22, who had the child through a caesarean operation June 21, was detained with her child for two months over 787,000 cedis representing the delivery and feeding cost. The story said the authorities had kept the baby away from the mother and the relatives asked for public assistance for funds to redeem the child.

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