After security forces used teargas on protesters who were demanding justice for Monique Koumate, in Douala, Cameroon’s Public Health Minister made an almost conflicting declaration on the matter, March 13 2016, in Yaoundé.
|MINISTER FOUDA : DO YOU LISTEN TO YOURSELF?|
Hear him: “We can’t say for now whether she died at home or in another person’s place. We have traced her to a public hospital where they went to at 8:00 am. (On March 12)
She and her family arrived at the Nylon District hospital and she was in the boot of a taxi. The family knew that she was already dead. The family asked whether she could be operated for the foetuses to be removed because going by their tradition a mother is not supposed to be buried with her foetuses.
The hospital personnel refused and advised them to go to another ‘big’ hospital. They continued their journey and arrived at about 10:00 am at the Emergency ward of the Laquantinie hospital. The Midwife and the first nurse observed that her eyelids were inactive.
|MINISTER'S CONTRADICTORY STATEMENT|
They told the family that they have brought a corpse. The family took the corpse still in a taxi to the mortuary. Here there is some foul play on the part of the mortuary attendant who while trying to remove the corpse said it was shaking.
We understand that a foetus is in a liquid. How could they imagine that, four hours after she died, the foetuses could still be alive?” explained Minister Mama Fouda on National Television, CRTV, March 13.
CONTRADICTORY HEALTH MINISTER
Few minutes later in a statement (left of page) issued on the same matter, the Minister is categorical. That when Monique Koumate arrived the Laquantini hospital at 10:30 am, (March 12) the midwife and first nurse diagnosed her dead, hours earlier.
Andre Mama Fouda said it would appear the medical staff of the hospital was not in any way negligent and that they did not demand any franc as deposit from Monique’s family before attending to her.
Mama Fouda summarily vindicates the hospital and staff of any accusations and said apart from Nylon District hospital Monique Koumate’s family had taken her to a health center he failed to name.
|EVERYTHING FREE ? REALLY ?|
Without any proof the Minister accused the deceased Monique of never having done any prenatal consultations and her relatives for carrying out the scandalous ‘surgical operation.’
He also announced that the Midwife on duty, the first nurse, the mortuary attendant and Monique’s relative are under arrest in in connection with the affair. He never mentioned the name of the gynecologist who was on duty.
FAMILY MAINTAINS STANCE
The man who is presented as Monique’s husband, Mukum Mbah, said from a health center which could not handle their case, the now deceased woman’s stomach was kicking, giving the impression that the babies were struggling to be born.
|FAMILY IN TEARS STILL ACCUSED...|
He said they moved from the maternity to the morgue where attendants said the babies were still kicking and that they should return to the maternity.
Mukum narrated how after several rounds from the mortuary to the maternity, nurses closed the doors at the maternity. That is where the amateur 'surgical operation' took place. Monique’s family members are insisting that she was not dead before reaching the Laquantinie hospital. And even if the woman had died earlier no death certificate was issued where she died.
Its remains curious that the Minister said his source of information (going by the statement above) was a crisis meeting held by the Governor of the Littoral Region , Samuel Ivaha, who on his part told a press conference in Douala same Sunday March 13,that investigations were underway for responsibilities to be established. Ivaha also appealed for calm.
Public Health Minister, Mama Fouda who sounded less convincing did not explain the where about of the hospital management and the hospital security officials , at the time the ‘surgical operation’ was being conducted at the premises of the Laquantine hospital, if there was no form of negligence and abandonment.
Critics are raising concerns about who between a medical Doctor or a midwife is supposed to declare someone dead and why the midwife who confirmed Monique’s death did so out of the maternity.
Questions are also being asked why the hospital staff whom the minister painted white are been detained if they had no questions to answer.
Several government officials have been announced for the Littoral region in days ahead amid condemnation of lack of proper health care system in Cameroon.