Newborns die at Delta hospital, community protests
Tension has gripped residents of Sapele in the Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State as angry patients and visitors to the city’s Central General Hospital protest over the alleged deaths of four new -born in government hospital within 24 hours.
Protesters who alleged negligence blamed the horrific incident in part on the lack of electricity supply and shortage of medical staff at the government hospital.
Witnesses said the protest brought activities to a standstill at the hospital on Friday, with the hospital’s main door firmly padlocked while patients in the wards were virtually unattended.
But the hospital management then recruited security guards, including vigilantes, to calm protesters as some of the bereaved families insist on resorting to legal action against the government hospital over their sad losses.
PUNCH Metro collected that the deceased newborns suffered neonatal deaths, minutes after delivery in the hospital between last Thursday and Friday, when the causes of the deaths of the infants were said to have been shrouded in mystery.
But a nurse on duty who sought anonymity refuted the claims, saying the circumstances of the deaths were different.
“Two died in their mother’s womb, while two babies died after delivery. It’s not the doctor’s fault,” she said.
Our correspondent understood that the patients and visitors to the hospital who were protesting on Friday demanded that the government intervene urgently and investigate the circumstances that led to the mysterious deaths of the infants.
The atmosphere at the hospital reportedly turned noisy when protesters, after spotting the accused doctor in the company of others, confronted him, demanding an explanation for his absence from duty that night.
Sensing the danger, other medical workers on duty reportedly fled just as the embattled doctor managed to escape into a room.
Lamenting his family’s ordeal, a brother of one of the bereaved mothers, Mr Benjamin Ikeji, said his sister’s husband brought his pregnant wife to the hospital around 5pm on Thursday.
He told reporters: “When we brought her in, the doctor told us that my sister was not yet in labor and I waited until 10 p.m. before going home. I called my sister this morning, and she told me the baby was stuck, and the nurses told her there was nothing they could do since the doctor wasn’t there.
“And when I came this morning, I met the doctor who told me that she couldn’t do anything since there was no light.
“I bought fuel for them and the next thing I heard was that my sister’s baby was dead and all the babies born that night died.”
Another victim, Mr Newton Oroba, who said his wife also lost his newborn after giving birth in the hospital labor ward the same night, alleged that the only doctor on call that night- there was not in stable condition.
“You could feel it in his breath when he came around 9 p.m. Thursday and when he left he didn’t come back,” he said, fighting back tears.
Delta State Command Police Public Relations Officer DSP Bright Edafe when contacted said the punch that the incident was not reported to command.
Hospital management, however, declined to comment on the matter while Delta State Health Commissioner Dr. Mordi Ononye was also unreachable at the time of this report.