Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Hospital detains newborn baby for 5 months over unpaid $3,630 bills


A newborn baby was held at the hospital for 5 months because her mother could not pay the medical bills.

Baby Angel was finally allowed to leave the clinic, which is north of Gabon's capital, Libreville, this week.

Her mother told the BBC her milk had run dry after being separated from the child for the first five months of her life.

The case shocked the country, and she gained much public support.

The bill of 2 million CFA ($3,630; £2,610) was paid after a campaign was launched on the family's behalf.

President Ali Bongo was among those who contributed towards the bill.

The clinic's director was arrested on Monday on baby-kidnapping charges, but the charges were dropped a day later, reports BBC Afrique's Charles Stephan Mavoungou from Libreville.

The baby's mother, Sonia Okome, told the BBC of her relief, but explained it was bittersweet: "I'm happy to have my baby back. But I'm sorry that I can't breastfeed her because after five months all my milk has gone."




She also complained that the baby had not been given any vaccines.

The bill, Gabon Media Time reports [in French], was for the 35 days Angel spent in an incubator after she was born prematurely. 

BBC

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