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“Mystery at Kawempe Hospital: Tragic Death of Newborn Leads to Police Probe”

Kampala, Uganda – A heart-wrenching tragedy at Kawempe National Referral Hospital has led to a police investigation, following claims from the parents of a newborn baby that their child’s death was suspiciously mishandled by hospital staff.

20-year-old Yvonne Ainembabazi and her husband Sulaiman Waiswa, 30, reported that their baby’s demise was followed by a series of confounding events. The parents claim that upon their visit to the hospital on July 20, health workers tried to redirect them elsewhere, stating that their newborn required unspecified external services. They also allege that their child was unexpectedly placed on oxygen on the third day of admission without any explanation.

The baby was later declared dead on the same day at around 9:30pm. However, the parents were denied access to their child’s body by a doctor whose name has been withheld for legal reasons. The following morning, when the grieving parents and relatives arrived to collect the body, they found a deep wound on their baby’s face. The same doctor informed them that the injury was due to a rat eating the baby’s forehead.

The parents, however, suspect that their baby may have been a victim of a ritual sacrifice, given the depth and position of the wound. They also questioned why the hospital staff did not immediately inform them about the child’s final moments.

In response to the allegations, Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesman Patrick Onyango confirmed that a death inquiry file has been opened. “We are investigating the circumstances under which a premature baby died. We are also investigating how a rat gained access to the morgue. We need to confirm all that,” Onyango said.

The deceased baby’s body has since been moved to Kampala Capital City Mortuary for autopsy, and DNA samples have been extracted from Ms Ainembabazi to confirm her biological relationship with the deceased.

The executive director of Kawempe National Referral Hospital, Dr Emmanuel Byaruhanga, has not yet given a detailed explanation about the incident due to ongoing meetings. In his stead, his deputy referred reporters to the police for further information.

Dr Herbert Luswata, the president of Uganda Medical Association, has called for full disclosure from the hospital administration. “If there is something else that happened to the body of this child, parents deserve to know,” Luswata noted.

According to a medical certificate of cause of death, the baby had succumbed to cardiopulmonary arrest, congenital heart disease, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, and neonatal meningitis. However, it remains unclear whether these conclusions were drawn from an autopsy or clinical notes.

The Ministry of Health is aware of the allegations and is awaiting the conclusion of the police inquiry before making further comments. Meanwhile, the regulator of doctors and dentists in the country has offered to conduct an inquiry into any alleged professional lapses or misconduct if the grieving parents decide to file a case.

 

The investigation is ongoing, and updates will follow as more information becomes available.

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