Sunday, January 20, 2019 | ePaper

Shut down the clinic

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THE state of childcare in the country can be best described by what happened in a Chattogram clinic where the authorities handed a dead baby shrouded with a cloth to a mother who had given birth to a baby girl. News media stated that Rokhsana Akter brought her baby girl from Noakhali to ChildCare Hospital, a private hospital, in Chattogram and after three days of treatment in ICU, the hospital authorities declared her baby dead. They handed the mother a wrapped body cautioning not to unwrap as the baby's face was in bad shape due to excessive bleeding. When the body was being prepared for final bath before funeral, relatives noticed that it was not a baby girl, rather a baby boy. Rokhsana, however, got back her daughter after passing several horrific moments with severe anxieties. But questions have been raised about the hospital authority's carelessness and unaccountability, and inactiveness of police.
There was a faint chance that Rokhsana's daughter was alive. So, they rushed to Chattogram with an ambulance and directly went to Panchlaish Police Station to lodge a complaint late in the night. The on-duty officer allegedly refused to receive the case. The clinic authorities later returned the baby girl who was undergoing treatment at ICU of the clinic.
The entire episode is shocking. We are extremely disturbed to see that hospitals around the country have frequently been hitting the news headlines for reasons other than medical treatment, such as theft, absenteeism of doctors, gross negligence to patients and stealing of newborn babies. Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum said at least 16 babies were stolen - double the number from the previous year - and only five were later recovered in last year.
It's a crime, no doubt. But we see police was not helpful to the victims primarily. The clinic authority at first had registered Rokhsana's baby as a girl and later altered it to boy. It is mysterious. The Ministry concerned must investigate whether the alteration was deliberative or not.
This kind of chaos has become a regular phenomenon in the country's health sector. We wonder how this type of clinics get license. What kind of doctors and medical assistants are working there? This type of clinic must be closed for resisting bigger crimes in the future.  

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