02.03.2005 Togo

Togolese teenager detained over unpaid hospital bill

02.03.2005 LISTEN

Dodi Papase (V/R), March 2, GNA - A Togolese teenage girl (name withheld) who could not afford a hospital bill of three point two million cedis is being detained by the authorities at the Mary Theresa Catholic Hospital at Dodi Papase in the Jasikan District.

Mr Joseph A. Danso, Health Educator of the Hospital who briefed the pregnancy she was carrying had developed some complications which demanded emergency medical attention. He said an emergency operation was performed on her and a bill of three point two million cedis was issued to cover the cost of the operation, which her grandmother pleaded with the authorities to excuse her to enable her raise the amount.

Mr Danso said four months on the Hospital authorities were yet to set eyes on the grandmother or any other family member to take the girl out of the ordeal. Asked what action the Hospital authorities were likely to take, Mr Danso said "her plight formed part of the agenda of the Hospital's next executive meeting".

The girl in an interview told the GNA that she derived her livelihood from the benevolence of some hospital staff and other members of the public and at times got her stipends from plaiting other people's hair. She appealed to philanthropists to come to her aid while remaining silent on who made her pregnant.