UCTH denies media report on three stolen babies
The management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) has refuted media reports (not The Guardian) that three newborn babies were stolen from the hospital by armed robbers on Sunday night.
Prof. Thomas Agan, Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, said this while briefing journalists yesterday in Calabar. He described the report as a blatant lie aimed at disparaging the hospital.
Agan told newsmen that the hospital had never recorded any case of missing child or stolen baby, adding that the security network within the hospital had been very tight. “I want to tell the world and indeed everybody that the report of stolen babies in UCTH is a blatant lie aimed at disparaging this hospital and its management.
“The truth is that it did not happen and it would not happen. It is true that there are some security challenges; it does not mean there was armed robbery attack on babies in UCTH. When I put a call to the head of paediatric department to tell me whether it happened when I was dreaming or whatever, he told me that it never happened.
“This type of journalism is not only inimical to the hospital but to the entire country, I have been so sad since I woke up from sleep. The report is totally false, the Department of State Services and the Cross River Operation Skolombo patrol here daily and we have never heard of such.
“Where the babies are kept is one of the most secured areas of the hospital, it is very secured. You have to pass through two gates before you get to where they are kept, and then me, as the CMD, I don’t even enter there freely, talkless of just anybody walking in there,” he said.He explained that some hoodlums who usually come to steal in the hospital in the past were arrested and handed over to the police.
Also speaking, Dr. Eyong Komomo, Head of Paediatrics Unit, said he was shocked when he heard the news through the CMD. “As soon as the CMD called and asked me about the story, I immediately went round all the wards and found out from both doctors and nurses on duty and we confirmed that nothing of that ever happened. It is a total fake news,” he said.
Dr. Antigha Cobham, President of Association of Resident Doctors, UCTH Branch, said his attention was also drawn to the online publication at the early hours of Monday morning. “As the president of the association, I had to get in contact with my fellow resident doctors; we visited the wards and found out that the story was false.“The publication stated that the incident happened on Sunday, but on this Sunday, I was on call-duty up to about 10:00p.m. and nothing of such ever happened,’’ he said.