Death toll of newborn babies rises at Abim Hospital

Source: Daily Monitor

Residents in Abim District in Karamoja Sub-region have asked security officials to investigate the deaths of newborn babies at
The residents say at least five newborns have so far died in the last one week at the district hospital without clear reasons. Mr Patrick Owili, who lost his newborn last Friday, says that his baby died after nurses at the facility did not help his wife to deliver.

“I was running up and about looking for the nurses who had gone away, leaving my wife alone at the ward. She struggled alone and by the time the nurses returned, the baby had no energy even to breathe until he died shortly after,” he said. Abim hospital.
Ms Giladays Acen, another mother who lost her baby in a similar situation, said their hopes for improved services at Abim hospital after its renovation have since varnished.

Babies’s ward at Abim hospital

“We were very happy as mothers when the then FDC presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye visited Abim and government was forced to renovate the hospital, and we thought services would be fine, but they haven’t improved,” she said.
The Abim Resident District Commissioner, Mr Mpimbasa Hasahaka, confirmed the deaths of newborns and has directed the police to investigate the incidents.

But Dr Edison Atwine, the Abim hospital medical superintendent, said only three newborn babies had died and denied allegations of negligence by the medical staff.
“What we know is that three newborn babies died, not five and the cause is due to lack of oxygen, not negligence,” he said.
Dr Atwine said a new car meant for maternity child health department that the hospital received from the Health ministry is being used by the district chairperson.

“We share these cars, even as a hospital when we have problems, we borrow cars and drivers from the district, so the chairman also borrowed ours. Although the car is always with him, it remains for the hospital,” he said.
The government was forced to renovate the hospital after a controversial visit to the facility in December 2016 by Dr Kizza Besigye, a former presidential candidate.

While campaigning in the sub-region, Dr Besigye made an impromptu visit to the hospital, which had not received a facelift since it was built in the 1960s. The government was forced to renovate the hospital after a controversial visit to the facility in December 2016 by Dr Kizza Besigye, the former Forum Democratic Change (FDC) party presidential candidate.


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