Baby thieves have existed for more than 2000 years. In the Old Testament, King Solomon had to decide who was the baby thief when two women who laid claim to one baby were brought before him. The king in his wisdom ordered the baby to be cut into and shared to both parents. One of the women in great jubilation agreed with the king to cut the baby into two. The second woman burst into tears and pleaded with the king to give the baby to the other woman because when the baby grows up, she will also need his service. King Solomon exhibited great wisdom by giving judgement in the second woman’s favour and the child was given to her. Baby thieves still abound in this modern world and Ghana is no exception.

What is going on in most Ghanaian hospitals are stealing new-born babies and selling them to rich but barren Ghanaian women and foreigners mainly from the Ivory Coast. Not very long ago, a Muslim woman delivered a bouncing baby at the Komfo Anokye hospital (KATH), and when the umbilical cord was cut the baby was taken away by the nurse only to return later to inform the woman that the baby was still-born. The woman was told that the baby died and has been buried. A feeling of sadness, anger, suspicion and desperation gripped the woman. During an investigation, the nurse said the cleaner took the dead baby and burnt it. That was different from what the nurse told the woman. A pure contradiction!

A doctor and a nurse were arrested and put in police custody on suspicion of having sold the child. The Zongo boys who sympathized with the woman rushed to the hospital and indiscriminately beat up doctors and nurses and demanded the body of the baby. The doctors and nurses acted swiftly by embarking on a sit-down strike. Investigations on the disappearance of the baby.

In another development, a young lady who had delivered a baby boy was discharged with the baby after two weeks at the hospital. As she left the ward, a woman followed her and began to admire the baby. She offered to help carry the baby. The baby’s mother was given a prescription to buy medicines for the baby. Outside the hospital gate, the woman sat in a shade with the baby while the mother crossed the street to find a pharmacy to buy the medicines. She got all the medicines from two different pharmacies. On her return, she found to her utter dismay that the woman and the baby were nowhere to be found. A woman in a kiosk confirmed that the woman boarded a taxi with the baby and left off. It was a day of mourning for the new mother.

Such horrendous moments do occur in several places especially in places where young women sell with their babies by them. Here is an account of a groundnut seller who had an eleven month old baby. A woman came to buy some groundnuts. She paid with ghc100 but she had no change so she left her baby and the groundnut she was selling with the woman and went to the neighbourhood to change the money. When she returned, the woman has disappeared with the baby leaving the basket containing the groundnuts behind and quite strangely, the bag containing the baby’s food, water, diapers and extra clothings for the baby. According to her, she reported the case to the police.

 

The woman boarded a Neoplan bus with the baby to Accra. The bus left and about two kilometres to reach Konogo, the baby was hungry and began to cry. The passengers were disturbed that she was neither breastfeeding the baby nor giving her any food. The driver added his voice but the woman said she would buy food when they arrived at Konongo.to “breastfeed the baby,” the driver insisted. The woman ignored it. Both the driver and passengers were beginning to doubt her ownership of the baby. The driver stopped at a police barrier and reported the woman to the police. After much interrogation, they were able to link her confession to the groundnut seller whose baby was stolen.

Stealing babies especially by our nurses with the connivance and condoning by some doctors, from legitimate mothers and sold to rich but barren women mostly from abroad for a substantial amount of money. Each year not less than forty babies are stolen from their mothers during delivery. Most of these women are in dire need of children who they can call their own, and others steal the babies for ritual purposes.

In the early ’80s, a woman gave birth to twins, a girl and a boy at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. The babies were taken away by the nurses. The nurse later returned with the baby boy and claimed that the baby girl was still-born and had been buried. The baby girl was sold to an Ivorian woman who lived in Kumasi. According to the report the boy who was called Atta Krufi, grew up. After his university education, he travelled to New York. At his workplace in New York, a lady also worked there. She made a very deep impression on him. He felt he and the girl looked so much alike. The lady also thought the same. They became very close friends. Dear reader, I urge you to follow the story very well. It is not just ananse story but it really happened. During a conversation between them, the man revealed that he was born a twin but according to his mother, his twin sister died at birth. They later compared birth certificates and it turned out that they were born the same day and at the same hospital except that the parents listed on both certificates were different. They decided to take a DNA test. When they took the test, it turned out that their blood group tallied with no error recorded! They are twins! The world indeed is a small place.

They took a decision to go back to Ghana to solve the mystery of how identical twins could belong to two different parents. On their arrival in Accra they decided to go to the man’s family home in Kunasi before coming to her mother in Accra. The reason is that the mother never told her she was a twin. When they reached Kumasi, excitement was irrepressible. Out of curiosity, people flocked to the house to catch a glimpse of this lady. The woman in tears narrated how her twin baby girl was taken away from her under pretext that she was still-born. Little did she know that her baby was sold to someone else. The people gathered there including the newly found twins burst into tears of joy. The twin sister’s mother was arrested. The twins followed to the police station. After a hectic round of interrogation, the woman confessed buying the girl through an advanced arrangement between her and one doctor and two nurses in a Kumasi hospital.

It is very important for the man to be present when his wife is on the delivery bed. The man must ensure that the new baby is not exchanged for a still-born baby. Doctors and nurses found to be engaged in such shameful acts must be punished.

 

Written by Stephen Atta Owusu

Author: Dark Faces At Crossroads

Email: [email protected]

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