Careless Childcare: Family members receive threat
12:00 AM, April 20, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:14 AM, April 20, 2018

Careless Childcare: Family members receive threat

Police say exchange of baby no cognisable offence

Family members, who were given a body of a baby by a hospital because of an alleged mix-up, said they were threatened to keep quiet about the matter.

The baby's uncle Alamgir Hossain said he had received several phone calls from strangers warning him of “a good lesson”.

“They threatened me because we had talked to the media. We are really scared,” he told The Daily Star yesterday.

Alamgir also said that he attempted to file a case with Panchlaish Police Station on Tuesday night accusing the authorities of ChildCare Hospital in Chittagong city, but the officers allegedly refused to record the complaint.

“The officers seemed biased. So we have not bothered informing them about the threat.”

Alamgir's five-day-old niece was admitted to ChildCare Hospital in the port city last week with pneumonia. 

Three days into her treatment, the baby's mother Rokhsana Akter, 21, was told on Tuesday that the baby had died.

The hospital authorities handed the mother a wrapped body of an infant in the morning. Hours later, as the mother was preparing to bury the baby in her village in Noakhali's Senbagh upazila, the family found out that the body was of a boy. This was not Rokhsana's daughter.

As the family rushed back to Chittagong, the hospital authorities admitted what they said was a mistake and returned the baby girl, who was alive and undergoing treatment at ICU, to Rokhsana.

Meanwhile, AM Mujibul Huq, director (health) of the Directorate General of Health Services in Chittagong formed a three-member committee yesterday to investigate into the incident.

Headed by superintendent of Chittagong General Hospital Asim Kumar Nath, the probe body was asked to submit its report within the next 24 hours, Mujibul said.

“No one will be spared if found guilty in the investigation,” he told The Daily Star.

Asked for comment, Abdul Warish, deputy commissioner (north) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police, said what the hospital authorities had done “by negligence or mistake” was a crime, but it was not a cognisable offence under the existing law of the country.”

However, lawyers have a different opinion.

Iftekher Saimul Chowdhury, president of Chittagong District Bar Association, said a case could definitely be filed accusing the hospital of negligence.

A civil or criminal case can be filed against a healthcare official, who is found negligent in their duty and affecting others, he said.

The baby is now undergoing treatment at ICU of Royal Hospital in the city.

Ajoy Kumar Dey, in-charge of Neonatal ICU, told reporters that the condition of the baby improved a bit but she was not out of risk.

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