Public Health Minister Rules Out Negligence over Laquintinie Death

Douala Laquintinie Hospital

Douala Laquintinie Hospital

Andre Mama Fouda, Cameroon’s minster of Public Health has ruled out negligence of the staff of the Douala Laquintinie Hospital over the death of a woman who died there on Saturday pregnant with twins at a press conference he held yesterday in Yaoundé.

According to Mr. Andre Mama Fouda, speaking over state radio, the woman by name Monique Koumate had died before being brought to the hospital by family members. She was brought to the hospital in the booth of a taxi from a private hospital in Douala and staff of the Laquintinie Hospital discovering that she was already dead referred her to the mortuary but instead of doing so the woman that accompanied her decided to open her up in an attempt to save the fetus.

This is how the minister recounted the incident over CRTV.

“It’s very very difficult when a pregnant woman died and Cameroon lost one pregnant women on Saturday 12 march. In fact this pregnant woman when into a private health facility Friday 11 March and that is the first consultation after several months and they receive a medical planning then Saturday 12 she died. We don’t know exactly where she died. Both had ate in the morning the family arrived with her in the Nylon District Hospital and asked the doctor if he can practice operation to remove the fetus the doctor said that no, because it’s not in the possibility of health district hospitals. After that the family continue with her in l’hopital Laquintinie, they arrived in the emergency and in the emergency the personnel send her to the maternity, at the maternity the midwife and the nurse noticed that this woman was died since long time and it’s that it’s not possible to continue to do anything and advised the family to conduct the pregnant woman in the mortuary and  at the mortuary one personnel and another woman thought that it would be possible again to save the fetus. At this stage they back again at the maternity ward but at the maternity word the midwife said that it’s not possible because you cannot have the fetus alive when the mother is dead. At this moment one personnel of the mortuary with one woman who accompanied this pregnant decide to open and remove the fetus. It’s horrible and the Cameroon is very very decide with this. I will inform you that the force military continue to engage with those concerning midwife, major, this woman and the personnel of the mortuary. I will say that it’s not a problem of negligence in the District Hospital of Nylon or Laquintinie hospital of Douala this problem is terrible and together we will continue to survey and we will have all aspect of this problem for the next future”

Listen to the minister's interview on CRTV below

Meanwhile the sister of the decease who was involved in her brutal operation has been detained at the Territorial Gendarmerie brigade in Akwa Douala on charges of performing an amateur operation on the sister. Reports from Douala also made mention of the director of the hospital Jean II Dissongo, the mortuary attendant, and a nurse being quizzed by the gendarmes on what actually happened.

The administrative authorities in Douala were forced to call for calm as tension mounted, with some civil society organization and political parties calling for mass demonstrations to call for the heads of the Director of the hospital and the minister of Public Health and for better services in public hospitals around the country.

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