UPTH speaks on 'death' of 19 babies in its incubators

University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH

University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH has denied viral reports that between 14 and 19 babies had died in its Special Care Baby Unit due to power outage.

Reports in some social media platforms had indicated that aside the death of the babies, doctors in the hospital had since Wednesday, June 29, suspended performance surgery procedures because of the poor power supply.

The report had quoted an unnamed medical officer at the hospital as saying that among the dead babies were the twin babies of a woman who had not been able to conceive for seven years.

The source claimed the woman gave birth last month, but due to the premature nature of the delivery, they were put in an incubator at the hospital.

“I’m saddened. We lost those twins on (Wednesday) because of power failure at the hospital. More than 14 babies have died at the incubator in the past weeks due to power failure”, she said.

The report further alleged that “Other patients were being referred to private hospitals by doctors due to the poor power situation.

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The ‘anonymous source’ also claimed relatives are lights from their phones to aid doctors and nurses who were taking care of the person they rushed to the Accident and Emergency Ward of UPTH.

However, the management of UPTH in a statement statement signed by Elabha Alexandra Meni, the Acting Public Relations Officer of the hospital described the reports as attempt to tarnish its image by spreading false messages and information that are inaccurate.

“Our attention has been drawn to a story of the fourteen (14) to Nineteen (19) babies dying in the hospital, this is not correct. We did not record any infant mortality in our Special Care Baby Unit (inborn and outborn) as a result of our electrical power outage, due to the faulty transformer.

“Surgeries were never cancelled, neither were our services disrupted.

“The management of UPTH frown seriously at such scandalous social media propaganda that is damaging its image.

“We want the general public to know that we remain committed in our service to humanity,” the Statement.

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