Some nursing mothers whose children are admitted to the Special Care Baby Unit at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital have complained of poor power supply in the hospital.
The mothers, who gave birth earlier than their expected date, alleged that when there is a power outage in the hospital, the children in the incubators are transferred to the second SCBU, which is the out-born (meant for children born outside of the hospital), where there is a standby generator used at night.
A video went viral on social media last week, where a man recorded the SCBU with no power supply.
When DAILY POST visited the SCBU of UPTH, some mothers claimed that the in-born SCBU (where children born in the hospital are kept in the incubator) has a poor power supply.
They alleged the children are moved to the outborn SCBU, which is in a different building when there is power outage.
One of the women also alleged a baby had died in an incubator some months back due to the poor power supply in the hospital.
“At times, there is no power supply. Sometimes it lasts for two days, a big hospital like this will have no electricity.
“Last month, some babies were in the incubator. I could remember a baby girl who died because there was no light.
“Although we have 2 SCBU. When there is no electricity, they transfer the babies to the other SCBU,” she said.
Another woman also claimed, “When there was no light, they asked me to carry my baby and give her KNC, just to protect my baby so my baby will be warm in my body until they bring the light. It was just for one night.
“They were able to take my baby from me to put her back into the incubator”.
They did not say the children were referred to other hospitals because of the electricity challenge in the hospital.
The SCBU unit in UPTH is sensitive, where premature babies are given special care.
Reacting to the claims and the viral video on social media, the Management of UPTH refuted claims the hospital referred mothers and newborns to leave the hospital due to a power outage.
The hospital management, in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Elabha Meni, for the Chief Medical Director, Henry Ogboma, said the reports were false, noting that the closure of any section of the hospital or suspension of services are weighty decisions that the hospital management will communicate through appropriate channels.
In the statement, UPTH admitted to having temporal cuts in public electricity supply from the distribution company and national grid but stated that patients in the pediatric units in the hospital are receiving treatment in their designated permanent and holding areas for their care.
The hospital said it is not in its practice to refer patients without appropriate protocols.
The statement read, “The attention of the management of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital has been drawn to a currently circulating online publication claiming that the hospital has ordered all mothers and newborns to leave the hospital due to a power blackout.
“The UPTH management wishes to set the records straight and emphatically state that there is no iota of truth in the said publication.
“The closure of any section of the hospital or suspension of services are weighty decisions that the hospital management will communicate through appropriate channels.
“The patients in our paediatric units are receiving treatment in all our appropriately designated permanent and holding areas for their care, despite the temporal cut in public electricity supply from the distribution company and national grid.
“It has never been our practice to refer patients out without appropriate protocols, in view of our status as the apex centre of referrals for tertiary specialist care. We reiterate that the publication made by ‘Port Harcourt Specials’ is false, as they have done in the past.
“We advise clients and relatives to ensure accurate reportage of situations surrounding their care and seek clarification on any issues from appropriate quarters.
“We solicit your support and understanding as we strive to provide excellent tertiary level care to all our patients and satisfaction to our stakeholders.”