Hundreds of people protested this past weekend after the death of a pregnant woman and her twin babies on March 12, 2016 at the Hôpital Laquintinie in Douala, Cameroon. A video taken of the woman whose name is Koumate Monique has gone viral and is the cause of outrage in the community. The protesters chanted “No more Koumateke Monique”, as an outcry to the frustration people are feeling with respect to the medical staff throughout the country. Cameroonians say that doctors and nurses are often neglectful of patients, especially those who cannot afford healthcare.
The story is based on several accounts on social media. I was on Facebook when I came across the very graphic video of the deceased pregnant woman lying outside the hospital with a crowd around her. It’s been said she was denied care because she didn’t have money to pay at the hospital. According to the reports, Monique was pregnant with twins and taken to the hospital by taxi. Upon arrival to the hospital the woman had already lost consciousness and was placed on the ground in front of the emergency department. The deceased’s family blames the hospital for what happened.
According to bystanders a medical person came out of the building and looked at the patient and confirmed her death. He then returned into the hospital and closed the gates. The family was upset because as the story goes people could see the babies physically moving inside the dead woman’s womb. The victim’s niece wanted the hospital to at least try and save the babies despite the woman already being dead. With no help from medical staff she took it upon herself in an act of desperation and went to a nearby pharmacy and purchased a surgical blade. She returned to the hospital and proceeded open the women’s belly to deliver the babies herself, since there was no help from hospital medical staff. The first child delivered had already died. The second child was alive, but sadly died shortly after. Her niece placed both babies on the chest of the deceased woman and cried.
The hospital denies having any responsibility for what happened. In a statement released by the hospital they state that the woman was brought in already dead and there was little they could do.
The Minister of Public Health, Andre Mama Fouda, made an announcement on national television Sunday supporting the hospital’s statement. He further added that the woman was already dead at least two hours before she arrived at the hospital.
The problem with the statements from the hospital and Fouda is that they fail to address the reason medical staff would not make an effort to save the unborn babies. Had they intervened and performed a proper cesarean operation (c-section), at least one of the babies may have survived.
If you want to see the video for yourself CLICK HERE. I WARN YOU THE VIDEO IS GRAPHIC AND NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL AUDIENCES. I was going to post it here, but wanted to be sensitive to those who may find it offensive or difficult to watch. So if you’d like to see the footage yourself, CLICK HERE.