By: Eba Alobo
The management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) has refuted reports by some online media 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, disclosed this while briefing journalists on Tuesday in Calabar.He described the report as blatant lie aimed at disparaging the hospital.
Agan told newsmen that the hospital has never recorded any case of missing child or stolen baby, adding that the security network within the hospital has been very tight.
Said he, “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 also true that there are some security challenges nationwide, it does not mean there was armed robbery attack on babies in UCTH.
Continuing, he said “when I put a call to the head of pediatric department to tell me whether it happened or whether 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 hospital, I have been so sad since I woke up from sleep. The report is total false, the Department of State Services – DSS and the Cross River Operation Skolombo patrol here daily and we have never heard of such,’’ 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 such ever happened.
“I had to get back to the CMD to inform him that the online report was not true. It is total fake news. We want to let the world know that no baby is missing in UCTH,’’ he said.
Dr. Antigha Cobham, President of Association of Resident Doctors, UCTH Branch, said that 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 the Sunday, I was on call-duty up to about 10 pm and nothing of such ever happened,’’ he said.
Prof. Ngim Ogbu, Member, Governing Board, UCTH, also described the report as false and misleading. “Whoever says that three babies were stolen should show us the mother and the exact place the children were taken,’’ he said.
Published in maiden edition, Lens Newspapers Vol. 1 No. 15.