When a couple in Accra walked into the 37 Military Hospital Maternity Unit, they were expecting twins, but they were stunned to be handed a single baby after delivery.
They are accusing the staff of the hospital of allegedly being responsible for the ‘disappearance’ of one of the freshly-born babies supposed to be the other twin, delivered at the hospital.
The delivery was done through a Caesarean section on Thursday, September 8, 2022.
A visibly distraught mother of the supposed twin, 38-year-old trader – Audrey Agyapong, and her 54-year-old husband, Daniel Naawu, are suspecting foul play.
Narrating their ordeal to the Ghanaian Times in Accra, the couple recalled that ultrasonic checks are done 31 weeks into the gestation period at two medical facilities, including the 37 Military Hospital, which showed that Ms Agyapong was carrying two live foetuses (twins).
The Ghanaian Times’ painstaking investigations suggested that the first scan report, which was signed off by Dr Otu Danquah, was conducted on April 22, 2022, at the Cerica Diagnostic Services at Lartebiokoshie in Accra, when the pregnancy was 20 weeks.
Furthermore, a second ultrasonic scan done at the 37 Military Hospital on July 21, 2022, and signed by Drs M.T Mpetey and R. Asiedu, a Resident and Senior Physician respectively, confirmed results of the earlier scan with twin A weighing 269g and B weighing 261g.
“In all, we did four different scans, all showing I was carrying live twins and it is baffling that one could disappear at birth,” Ms Agyapong told the Ghanaian Times.
Explaining further, she said on September 7, 2022, when her gestation period was 38 weeks, she was admitted at the 37 Military Hospital where her vitals were taken with two foetal heartbeats confirmed as normal.
“On the 8th of September 2022, the morning of the operation, my babies were checked again and I was told they were both well. Double logistics were therefore taken for them. At the theatre, I was prepared for the operation and anaesthesia was given which completely numbed the lower part of my body.
“A screen was placed in the middle, preventing me from directly viewing what was happening. However, I felt the two babies being taken from my womb. Later, I heard a cry and one female baby was shown to me by a doctor named Dr Ali Saine, who told me ‘It is only one baby’.”
Dr Saine is a senior Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the 37 Military Hospital, who performed the Caesarean section.
“I was startled and whilst trying to process the import of what I was just told, I heard the doctor tell his team members to take out their phones and video it. I was taken to the recovery ward where the doctor told me he would come and talk to me,” recalled Ms Agyapong, who said she had been having sleepless nights since the incident.
According to the disturbed mother, to make matters worse, she was later told that what she thought was a second baby, was rather a placenta.
“I was shocked because this was not the first time I was giving birth and I know how one feels when the placenta comes out.”
For his part, Mr Naawu, a senior driver at J.A Plant Pool Ghana Limited in Accra, said his baby’s alleged disappearance was “unacceptable” as he was asked to pay for double items before the operation.
“I have twins from my previous marriage and was glad I was going to have another set only to be told this shocking story,” the evidently upset father fumed.
He continued: “As I speak now, I have not been able to outdoor the child, nor give her a name, because I do not know whether the missing baby is also female or male.”
Meanwhile, on October 10, 2022, Mr Naawu petitioned the Commander-in-Charge of the 37 Military Hospital to cause an investigation into the matter and bring back his missing child.
Several attempts made by the Ghanaian Times to speak to Dr Ali Saine on the issue, proved futile, as he insisted on contacting the Commander-in-Charge of the 37 Military Hospital, for permission.
“We have a laid-down procedure here. I can’t speak to the media unless you seek permission from the appropriate quarters at the hospital,” he insisted.
After several attempts to speak to him fell through, the Ghanaian Times on October 14, 2022, officially wrote to the Commander-in-Charge of the 37 Military Hospital, requesting an interview with Dr Saine.
Several follow-ups have been made ever since, but to no avail; as it was always met with the refrain at the hospital’s administration that: “we are working on it.”
On Friday, October 28, 2022, the Ghanaian Times wrote another letter addressed to the Public Affairs Department of the 37 Military Hospital, requesting an interview with Dr Ali Saine, but only received a verbal response assuring that an investigation has been commenced into the case.
However, an eye specialist at the 37 Military Hospital, Wing Commander Isaac Bediako Fordjuor who is part of a team tasked to probe into the matter, told the Ghanaian Times in November last year that investigations had commenced.
“We have interviewed all concerned including nurses who worked at the theatre on that fateful day and we shall brief you on our findings when we are done,” he said.
Nearly four months have passed since investigations commenced into the incident.