By David Labeja
A newborn baby boy bled to death at Gulu Regional Hospital on Monday hours after a nurse on duty put him in the incubator with his umbilical cord not properly tied.
The baby was delivered through caesarean section at 9:00pm after its mother, Patience Adong, developed complications.
Hospital staff said after the operation, Adong and the baby were moved to the maternity ward.
It is reported that the nurse on duty later took the baby to the â€œoxygen room,â€saying it was exhausted.
However, Bonny Odongo, the bereaved father, narrated that: â€œThe nurse left the child alone in the oxygen room. Access was restricted, but through the glass door. We could see blood all over the babyâ€™s cotton sheets.â€
Odongo said it was around 2:00am yesterday that other women in the ward noticed that the childâ€™s umbilical cord was not tied.
â€œWe looked around for assistance and at about 3:00am, a nurse came to the ward and started blaming us for not tying the umbilical cord of the child. In a rush, she looked around for a thread to tie the cord, but my son had already bled to death,â€ he said.
Lilly Okot Piloya, the head of nurses at the hospital, confirmed that the child died from the oxygen room.
Piloya said she learnt that the childâ€™s umbilical cord was tied late, but did not confirm the time it was tied.
She, however, said the child could have died of exhaustion, saying the baby stayed long in the womb.
But last evening, Odongo claimed that his son and wife did not get adequate attention because he did not have money.
â€œWe came to the hospital because they told us that medical services in government hospitals are free, but I was asked to pay sh10,000 a day before the operation, which I did not have,â€ Odongo said.
Piloya, however, said it was unlikely that anyone asked for money. â€œWhen people are angry, they say anything. I suspect the bereaved father made the accusations out of anger.â€
Piloya added: â€œThere were only two nurses on duty. One nurse was delivering women in the wards and the other was doing the rounds. So they were overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, the parents did not report that the child had started bleeding.â€
Gulu resident district commissioner Chris Owor Odoi described the incident as appalling and ordered an investigation.