Ghana: baby dies as doctor cuts oxygen supply over non-payment of bills

A nine-week-old baby boy has died at a local hospital in the Central Region of Ghana because his parents could not afford the cost of aiding his breathing with an oxygen machine.

According to a local media, Joy fm, the baby died at the St Gregory Hospital at Kasoa.Little Prosper’s parents told Joy News that a medical doctor on duty pulled the plug from the oxygen machine because they could not pay GHS 533 about $ 122 to keep their son alive.

Hospital authorities are tight-lipped on the issue explaining they are investigating the circumstances leading to the baby’s death.

An Air Algerie passenger plane flying from Burkina Faso to Algiers crashed in northern Mali in July 2014, killing all 116 people on board including 54 French nationals.

In October the same year, a military plane crashed in the south of the country during a training exercise, killing the two men on board.

That came more than a decade after all but one of the 103 people on an Air Algerie Boeing 737-200 died in March 2003 when it crashed on takeoff in the country’s south after an engine caught fire.

Little Prosper was born on January 19, 2018,he fell sick and was taken to the hospital on March 5 and died three weeks later.

The baby’s mother, Sefakor, told Joy News Joojo Cobbinah, that a few weeks after the baby was born she realised he was not breathing well.

According to Sefakor, after preliminary tests, St Gregory Hospital admitted them with the intention of transferring the case to the nation’s largest teaching and referral hospital in the capital Accra, subsequently.

The baby was given blood and kept on the oxygen machine because he could not breathe well.

However, when it became clear the family could not afford the cost of treatment before the intended transfer to the Korle bu teaching hospital, the doctor decided to take a drastic decision.

“That Saturday, the Doctor came, he asked if I’ve heard anything from my husband [about the bills] and I said that I didn’t hear anything. Then he removed the oxygen…it is too late,” Sefakor managed in the little English she could speak.

The baby’s father, Kennedy Kwao, said he chose the name ‘Prosper’ because he was hopeful that the boy will grow up to become a prosperous man.

That hope, however, has been curtailed.

Africa News

Gary Murambiwa
the authorGary Murambiwa