Controversy as newborn baby ‘disappears’ at Plateau hospital

A Maternity Ward used to illustrate the story [Photo: The Guardian Nigeria]
A Maternity Ward used to illustrate the story [Photo: The Guardian Nigeria]

A controversy is presently brewing over the mysterious disappearance of a newborn at the Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos, the capital of Plateau State.

While the mother, Mary Chukwuebuka, said her baby was taken away from her by a ‘staffer’ at the hospital hours after she gave birth, the hospital management has dismissed the claim, linking it to a ‘mysterious woman’ who reportedly visited the hospital on the same day the incident happened.

The woman said her baby was taken from her on May 28 after delivery.

“I came to the hospital on Monday (May 27, 2019) to deliver my baby. I have been coming for antenatal, and that day I came, and they said I am due to deliver (for delivery),” she narrated.

“The doctor referred me to the Gynaecology (department). I told them that I have nobody at home, I had to go back home and pick my things, and the doctor permitted me to go, and I came back.

“When I came back, I was induced and after some hours finally gave birth to a baby girl on Tuesday at 3:47 a.m. after severe bleeding.

“In the evening, the doctor came, and I was expecting him to discharge me, but he said that they are going to run another test, and he asked if I was given any form and I said no. He said that they would bring the form in the morning to run the test.”

She said a lady, whom she thought was a nurse came later to take the baby from her.

“A lady came around 6 p.m. and asked me where the baby is? The lady said that they are supposed to get the blood of the baby and demanded to carry the baby to go and collect the blood and I gave her the baby on trust that she was a doctor (nurse?).

“I wanted to undress the baby, but she told me to stop, that she will take her to the children’s ward to take the blood. She asked me to tell my mother to follow her to collect the baby, but on the way, she sent my mother back,” she said.

She said this was the last time she saw the infant.

“After some time, I was hearing the cry of the baby and I told my mother that are they taking the blood up to an hour? A patient that I was together with was coming from the children’s ward, and I asked her if she saw my baby in the children’s ward and she said no.

“I stood up and went there, but there was no child, and the lady was not there. I came back and reported immediately to the nurses, and they started searching. The nurses searched and didn’t see the baby and the woman.

“The hospital authority called the police and reported the matter. I called my husband to come so that we can all go to the station to give a statement. The hospital management and the police went to the station. We waited for them in the hospital, and the police came in later and took my statement,” she said.

She said since the incident; the hospital management ”had stopped treating her and attending to her queries on the whereabouts of her baby”.

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Hospital’s version

PREMIUM TIMES reached out to the hospital management.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Philemon Golwa, confirmed the incident but linked the baby’s disappearance to a ‘strange’ woman who visited the hospital that day for a pregnancy test.

He explained that the medical examination carried on the said woman had revealed a ‘false pregnancy’ but ”the woman and a man claiming to be her husband had caused a scene before leaving the hospital”.

“The nurses then advised all the patients to be careful with their babies after that incident, only for us to hear that a woman dressed as a hospital staffer had abducted a baby and the mother did not notify the hospital until about an hour later,” he said.

The CMD said the hospital was checking from its records to get information about the suspect while the police were investigating the matter.

Meanwhile, Tyopev Terna, the state police spokesperson, said the command is aware of the incident and investigation is ongoing.

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