By Lamin Cham
The management of the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, has expressed shock and regret over the death of Fatou Dibba of Bakau who died in an ambulance at its Accident and Emergency while waiting to be attended.
Social media and early speculations indicated that Madame Dibba was turned away at the EFSTH as doctors feared she was suffering from Covid-19.
Fatou was pregnant with twins, one of which “naturally” delivered but a cesarean was carried out to deliver the second at ASB clinic. However, she had developed difficulties and was rushed to the EFSTH where she was pronounced dead.
The hospital management said the incident was regrettable and expressed condolences to the bereaved family.
“Any death that occurs in the hospital is reviewed as a routine and we take any allegations leveled against the hospital and its staff very seriously. In this case, we have deemed it necessary to launch an urgent and comprehensive investigation into this matter, to piece together the exact events that transpired at EFSTH on that fateful day, and any other relevant information surrounding the case, so as to take concrete steps to try and ensure that a similar event does not occur again,” the statement signed by the EFSTH PRO Kebba Nyancho Sanneh said.
The hospital also assured Gambians that in the interest of transparency, the outcomes of the investigation shall be communicated in due course.
“In the meantime, we would also like to reassure the general public and all referring institutions that we continue to operate as best as normal to continue to provide tertiary and referral services despite the current Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country. We would also like to reassure the general public that there is no policy in our hospital to turn away any patient in need of our services,” the statement added.