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Mukono Baby Was in The Mortuary, Not in Placenta Pit- Report

Dr Kasirye says that the placenta pit is 60ft deep and it would be hard to retrieve anything thrown in there, except through a lengthy, bureaucratic process. URN visited the pit and noticed that it was built underground and placentas are dumped through a flap that opens out.
Mukono General Hospital

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The authorities at Mukono General Hospital have dismissed allegations that they had mistakenly dumped a stillbirth into a placenta pit. They however say that the baby died at birth and his body was taken to the hospital mortuary from where the corpse was picked and handed over to the family. 

Dr Geoffrey Robert Kasirye, the medical superintendent of the hospital says that their internal death audit ruled out the possibility of having retrieved the body from the placenta pit. The audit was carried out following complaints from a 29-year-old mother Rose Baisi, a resident of Kigombya Village in Mukono district who said that although she had given birth to twins, the health workers at the facility presented only one child to her, with no explanation of what had happened to the second one.

Baisi used scan images that were taken earlier to prove that she was expecting two babies and not one. But moments after her complaint, she adds, health workers at the hospital gave her a stillborn and told her that the baby had been mistakenly thrown in a placenta pit. But the management at the hospital says that Baisi's account is not factual. 

Dr Kasirye says that the placenta pit is 60ft deep and it would be hard to retrieve anything thrown in there, except through a lengthy, bureaucratic process. URN visited the pit and noticed that it was built underground and placentas are dumped through a flap that opens out. 

The placenta pit is a deep pit that cannot easily be opened. It could not have been opened by the midwives. I would have to be informed if it was open. As you saw, there is no way that a baby could have been thrown in the pit and later retrieved." he said.

He adds that Baisi's child was born with a severe congenital condition, with a missing part of the skull and the cerebral hemispheres. The condition occurs when the neural tube fails to close properly. It can be passed on in children through genes from both parents, although it can also be caused by obesity, uncontrolled diabetes in the mother, or the use of some prescription medicines.

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According to Kasirye, when Baisi's baby died, shortly after birth, it was taken to the mortuary, from where a nursing sister handed the body to the parents five hours later. This contradicts Baisi's claim that her husband picked the baby the next day after they were discharged following a phone call informing them that the deceased had been found.

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Baisi had earlier on said that the body of the child that she received was not hers and has since opened up a case of a missing baby at Mukono police station.

Both the Ministry of Health and the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development-CEHURD have been investigating concerns raised by Baisi. Dr Richard Mugahi, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Infant and Maternal Health at the Ministry of Health says that they are carrying out investigations into the matter and to make sure that the case is resolved.

Gloria Laker, a programs officer at CEHURD says that there are still many questions surrounding the earlier explanation given to the family that lost the baby which still needs proper explanation.

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Mukono Municipality Medical Director Dr Anthony Kkonde notes that the hospital has proof over the matter and also CCTV cameras in a place whose footage can be used during the investigations once it is needed.                                                                       

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