Three Muhanga medics held over death of newborn baby

Police in Muhanga District are holding three medics at Kabgayi Hospital in connection with the death of a newborn baby. Martha Mukasekuru, 33, a resident of Kamonyi District, accuses the medics for failing to properly examine her baby before being wrongly pronounced dead.
A hospital ambulance parked at the ground of Kabgayi Hospital. (Emmanuel Ntirenganya)
A hospital ambulance parked at the ground of Kabgayi Hospital. (Emmanuel Ntirenganya)

Police in Muhanga District are holding three medics at Kabgayi Hospital in connection with the death of a newborn baby.

Martha Mukasekuru, 33, a resident of Kamonyi District, accuses the medics for failing to properly examine her baby before being wrongly pronounced dead.

Mukasekuru, on March 28, delivered a baby boy by cesaerean section.

In distraught situation, medics continued to treat her; wrapped the baby in clothes and later handed her mother a box with the baby ‘wrongly pronounced dead,’ she said.

On reaching home the relatives were shocked to find the baby still alive.

They returned the baby the next day and endured two days without proper care until the medics eventually pronounced the baby dead again, Mukasekuru said.

The mother, who is still admitted to Kabgayi Hospital, said they went through an awful sequence of events but believe her baby could have survived had the medics not sent them home.

“I reached the hospital and had cesaerean birth but neither I nor my mother saw the baby. Later, the medics brought a covered box to my mother. She asked them what was inside, they replied that there was a body inside. My mother asked them: ‘why didn’t you show the baby to the mother?’ She later received it and once home, opened the box only to spot the baby was still alive,” Mukasekuru recounted.

“I want justice,” she said, adding that they were looking forward to welcome their first child after the first born died.

Théogène Musabyimana, Mukasekuru’s brother, said when they carried the box home, they could hear the baby breathing inside.

“I was so curious that I opened it. When I did, we realised the baby was still alive and we decided to take it back to the hospital for care,” said Musabyimana.

Police said postmortem results from Police Hospital at Kacyiru are yet to be released but investigations are still ongoing.

The baby was born at 4pm on March 29, and the mother’s family returned him to the hospital at 10am on March 30, Police said.

“The medics are detained for wrongly pronouncing the baby dead, a phenomenon that is difficult to explain,” Hubert Gashagaza, the Southern Province Police spokesperson, said.

Dr Patrick Muhoza, the director of Kabgayi Hospital, said the case is still under investigation.

“Investigations are being done at medical level and by Police after which the law will take its course,” he said, ruling out the possibility of equipment used at the hospital having a problem.

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