Parents who lost a newborn baby girl at Mulago have sued the national referral hospital.
The Attorney General Peter Nyombi, Dr Byarugaba Baterana, the executive director of Mulago hospital, and Fred Lubega, the doctor who took care of the child’s mother, are listed as respondents. In the suit filed at the High court civil division, Gorrett Kajumba and Samuel Egesa, the parents of the missing baby, claim that as result of the negligent actions of the respondents, the baby was stolen from the hospital in December 2012.
Through Kinobe, Mutyaba and Turinawe Advocates, the couple claim that on December 3, 2012, Kajumba was admitted to Mulago hospital in maternity ward 5BP.
“That the first plaintiff [Kajumba] gave birth by caesarean section to a baby girl on the fourth day of December 2012, who was alive, cried and was even shown to the first plaintiff in the theatre before she was taken away by the midwives,” the plaint partly reads.
After the birth of the baby, the parents say the midwife asked Kajumba whether she had an attendant, to which she said no.
“That the midwives scolded her [Kajumba] and told her that they would take her baby to the nursery where the first plaintiff would find her after [leaving] the theatre,” the couple claims.
When she came from the theatre and asked to see her baby, Kajumba says the nurses ignored her.
“That on the Thursday the 10th of December 2012, the first plaintiff in excruciating pain walked to the special care unit where the baby had been taken and sought to see her child and breastfeed her….But the nurse at the special care unit…denied her access to the special care unit and told her to go back to the ward and get a form from the nurses to show that she had given birth,” they claim.
The parents say that the same nurse in total disregard of Kajumba’s emotions and physical wellbeing shouted at her. She told her that her child had died the day before December 4, 2012. Subsequently, Kajumba asked for the child’s body and she was told it had been buried.
“That the first plaintiff was further baffled that no medical personnel was explaining to her what had happened to her baby and who had given them permission to bury her baby without informing her,” they say.
The couple said Kajumba was discharged from the hospital without her baby. At home, Kajumba’s relatives read the medical documents. They found out that the discharge form indicated that the baby was alive and that Kajumba had been discharged with the girl.
Kajumba returned to Mulago where a certain doctor advised her to check with the mortuary for her baby.
“That at the mortuary the askari [gateman] helped the first plaintiff to ask for the death certificate showing that the plaintiff’s baby had died. There was no such certificate but the receptionist arrogantly told her that her child was long gone and there was nothing she could do about it,” they allege.
The parents claim that the matter was brought to the attention of the hospital director Baterana, who promised to investigate. Up to date, they claim, the director has not revealed the results of his investigations.
The parents say that since the incident happened, Kajumba has developed hypertension, migraine and stomach bloating. She cannot work, they say. Enock Kusasira, the hospital spokesperson, couldn’t be reached for comment. His known phone number was off.