Sad! Six-week old baby dies because mum couldn’t afford GHC10 folder

The family of the baby leaving the Hospital Monday night with the body.

A six-week old baby suffering from convulsion has allegedly been left by health officials to die at the Zebilla District Hospital in the Upper East Region because the mother could not afford the cost of a patient folder – GHC10.

The baby was sent to the Hospital at about 8:00pm on Monday with a suspected case of convulsion but officials at the Folder Unit of the Hospital demanded she paid GHC10 before a folder could be issued her to see a doctor.

According to the 35-year-old Azumah Atiah, though she informed those at the Folder Unit that she is a subscriber of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), they told her NHIS does not cover the cost of patient folder.

Narrating her ordeal to TV3’s Rabiu Tanko Mohammed on Tuesday, she said the officials at the Unit insisted she paid the GHC10 but unfortunately, she had only GHC5 on her at the time.

Ms Atiah said all pleas to them to take the GHC5 as a part payment so her baby could get medical attention proved futile as the officials were not ready to accept anything less the stated amount.

The situation, she said, forced her to leave the baby alone on a bench at the Hospital’s Out Patient Department, and rushed to town with the hope of finding extra GHC5 to make up for the full cost.

Unfortunately, Ms Atiah said she returned to the Hospital 30 minutes later without any success.

When she got back to the Hospital, she said the baby’s situation had worsened, noting she was foaming in the mouth and her temperature too had gone high.

According to Atiah, she became dejected, and continued to plead with the officials to at least give her baby medical attention while she tried to get the money but no one was willing to listen.

She said when she thought all hopes were lost, a man who saw her frustration offered her GHC5 and she immediately rushed to get the folder for the baby girl but it was too late.

Ms Atiah broke down in tears when she realised her baby had died

Ms Atiah said just when she moved about 10 metres to see a doctor, she realised the baby had died.

Meanwhile, the body of the baby has since been released to the bereaved family for burial.


The devastated Atiah did not understand why she was made to go through such situation at the expense of the life of her baby girl, especially so when she is a subscriber of the national health insurance scheme.

She is demanding investigations into the issue and where necessary, appropriate sanctions applied.

Assembly member for Aramkoliga a suburb of Zebilla, Layo Nduy Nguy, who was not happy and questioned why the officials should let the baby die because of GHC5.


He has consequently backed the call for investigations into the incident.Meanwhile, when contacted by 3News on Tuesday, the Bawku West District Health Director, Samuel Aruba, apologized for the unfortunate incident but pointed out that the Medical Director and the Matron at the Hospital were unaware of what really happened at the facility.

Investigation has started already started and that findings would be made public when ready.


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  1. It can’t be true that the Medical Director and Matron are not aware,that is false. These Ghanaians health workers. At the end of the day them call themselves Christian’s and Muslims.

  2. Hummn, very sad how so called health practitioners allow humans to suffer and die due to negligence. All they do is wear uniforms and flaunt theemselves for everyone to see they are in town…. May the God of this poor girl strike all those involved…..RIP cutie

  3. Please in as much as this story is so sad and very unfortunate if true, Samuel Aruba is not the Bawku West District Director of Health service.

  4. This is what is happening most of the health facilities in the north. Come to Bole District Hospital and see the rots …..

  5. It’s really sad to hear. In fact the matter should be investigated & powerful sanctions should be meted for the culprits. I believe strongly that the record unit can’t act on their own accord without without directives from higher hirachy of the facility. Now question is what protocol does the hospital put in place for emergency cases? Is it working? If yes, which class of clients do they consider as emergencies? My condolences sister.

  6. Can some lawyer get there and take the hospital on? Do these people know anything about children’s rights? This is so inhumane. I swear to God I am on my way to be a lawyer and these are the cases I will be looking for myself. Rest in peace BABY!

  7. Who told you that the matron and what have you are but aware?
    The folder contracter was working under instruction
    Let’s get to Fridays and meet them around a mosque, Saturday and Sunday around a church building

  8. Those at the records are soooo hectic they have no brain please try n be in her shoes n see weda is gud or enjoyable I think theses people should be punished Ms Atihah my condolences

  9. It’s so sad I wish I were the mother like I swear I won’t say anything but I will make sure I kill them too. What a b**t

  10. Is very sad situation that cannot be reversed people just say sorry to that situation.

    I understand stand care provided for payment to be made in within 24 hours of arrival of any emergency and life threatening conditions so this? People who come to the facility and abscond payments what do they do to them? What is the role of records officer in emergency situations? What protocols are they working with in such emergency situations? Hmmmm there may be several deaths but would speak about? If you are health your going to hell is as a result of negligence . Let’s show some love. Someone should be disciplined.

  11. Please let not this matter end , this are cases of type that should be forwarded to the president and also legal department. The culprits must be suction seriously.

  12. Let’s exercise patience about this story, the reporter and the deceased mother kept this to suit readers and listeners. I have been to that hospital, they have emergency sheets for emergency cases without a folder and there is no payment for these sheets. Again the District Director of health is not Samuel Aruba and he is not part of the management of the hospital. May be there was a rush in the publication of the story so all the details were not taken. My condolences to the bereaved family. Investigation should be done, and culprit punished if found.

  13. It can be true because no go very mention worker work for 24hrs a day in Ghana and looking at the time stated(8:00pm) they would have closed.

  14. Very sad indeed. But in Nadowli District hospital where I work , we are thought to stabilize cases like this and other emergencies before the arrival of folders and victims allowed to make payments within 24hrs. For swift and quality health delivery, NADOWLI DISTRICT HOSPITAL welcomes everybody. My heart felt condolences to the bereaved family.

  15. The woman is not serious, you she didn’t send her child to the emergency unit. I don’t believe this story

  16. Sometimes issues as such are complicated. Right from the victim down to the writer and assumed witnesses.
    The mother could have ignored the person at the record unit and take the convulsing child to the emergency unit. The nurses wouldn’t watch the child die because of folder. In as much as they will request for it,measures would be taken to stabilize the child before demanding for folder. IGNORANCE.
    The news was just about the victim, the reporter, an assemblyman and district HR or something. Nobody has heard the side of the staff at the records yet. I’m not saying the fellow did a good thing not being pathetic but some of this clients are arrogant and as many people who condemn the staff immediately are same people who can’t stand the arrogance of people or who’s apathy is vague just as his might be. So be slow in condemning.
    The NHIS is also worsening the care given at health facilities this days because as the client complained of being insured, the insurer might have not paid the facility for only God knows months and this staff at record in a village may be paid over the table and is living in the promise of “when the NHIS pay”. How do you think that person will work whole heartedly??
    Someone out of the box will say he should love the work because he opted for but who knows he was forced there because he has to make ends meat just for his three square meals.
    Condolences to the bereaved family anyway.
    Peace should prevail.

  17. Apologies for What? Would that beings the baby back to live. Everybody in that hospital is aware of what is going on in that hospital. They all need to jail for killing the innocent people. Money don’t have that much values we Ghanaians think life all about money. There are a lot of things money can’t buy and one such thing is life. Health sectors need to show some empathy to sick because without the sick they won’t have job.

  18. My condolences to Ms Azuma and her family. It’s sad for this to have occurred in the hospital. This sad story is very one sided to me hence we should comment with circumspection until full investigations are done. It’s sad at this time to be a health worker , all the many good things we do go unnoticed except the very few bad ones. And I heard some us blaming nurses; So pathetic in Ghana a lot of people believe that all workers at the hospital are nurses so I am not really surprised. Only God knows what most nurses and midwives go through to make sure their clients/patients are healthy or treated.

  19. This poor journalism… I wonder what mess these rural reporters are causing. How can a mother leave 6weeks old baby on a bench all by herself? Then she of course is murderer herself. How did she get to town within 30mins and back? What if someone had stolen the baby? What if the baby had fallen from the bench? It doesn’t make sense at all. Or could it that the staff are so heartless to have also left the baby all alone? What did she need the folder for when she has a child welfare card? 3news, don’t be like a station i know. Do a lot of facts finding before publication. Don’t rush in an attempt to spread bad news. Let’s cautious in what we write about the health service. It is not as bad as we think.

  20. Did the mother tell the nurses about the condition of the baby n they didn’t attend if it was emergency? At O P D the nurses are always there n I don’t think any health worker will see someone in bad condition n will not do something about it.

    If she cover the baby n was sitting at records to take folder n no one saw that was her problem.

  21. A normal person will not leave a sick baby on the bench n go to town n come back I plead that whilst investigation is going on they should check the woman mental status.

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