Cameroonian couple with German nationalitywhose baby died on Sunday April 10, a few days after birth at Hope Parma Hospital in Kumba, South West Cameroon, is demanding FCFA 100 million from the hospital as damages.
The Cameroon Journal learnt that the couple and top management of Hope Parma hospital first appeared before a Kumba magistrate Thursday April 14.
A second hearing was scheduled for today, April 18. The legal action by the couple follows the controversial circumstances that led to dead of the baby and the detention of Dr. Esua Jerry, director of the health facility.
He was kept in police custody all day Sunday April 10 and later released on Monday evening. The couple is accusing him and the hospital for letting their baby die on allegations the child died because electric supply was interrupted for the child who was being incubated.
There is also contention between the management of the hospital and parents of the dead child as regards what period of pregnancy the baby was born. The hospital management has said that the dead baby was delivered at 24 weeks, but the couple is saying that the pregnancy was 6 months and a few weeks old.
Dr. Jerry told reporters at a press briefing held at the Kumba police station that the baby was only 24 weeks old and could not survive naturally, adding that they went far and beyond medical science to try to get the baby to survive.
”We did our best. A 1KG child cannot survive. We wanted to go against sciences but their own argument is that the generator was not on and the lights were off,” Jerry explained.
He explained to reporters that when the mother put to birth, the baby weighed 1kg and as a result, was put into an incubator immediately. A few days after, the medic said, the couple requested to leave for a funeral celebration of the child’s grandmother. Returning on the 10th, the baby had died same day.
The Italian-trained Gynecologist and Obstetrician went ahead to explain that between April 6 and 10 when the child died, every medical action had been taken for the toddler to survive. Unfortunately, he said, the child passed on at 4:30am, contrary to claims from the family that as at 6am Sunday April 10, they came to the hospital and met the child alive.
Quizzed on allegations from the parents of the baby that the child may have died because there was no electricity, the medical doctor argued that there was constant electricity in town at the time the baby passed on. He explained that he was taken off guard when the father of the dead child stormed the hospital, brutalizing patients and care givers to the extent of trying to rough handle him (the director).
He said he had to seek the help of the police after the father of the deceased once at the hospital, phoned his relatives and over 100 people who were at the funeral ground joined him at the hospital and paralyzed work.
The police commissioner of the Kumba central police station, Njume Njikang, confirmed that the presence of the medic at the police station was to preserve his life given the circumstances sparked by the crisis.
Njume told reporters that details regarding the identity of the couple and other information on the developments surrounding the dead baby are still under investigation.