Our impact: Victims of medical negligence receive compensation after accountability journalism report

Two victims of medical negligence who had been abandoned after suffering child loss and horrendous obstetric surgical accident at the hands of a quack midwife at the New Generation Medical Centre in Accra have been compensated.

The compensation was paid after their ordeals were exposed in a series of investigative stories by The Fourth Estate,  a public-interest accountability journalism project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).

The victims, Kate and Bernice (pseudonyms used in the exposé) were assuaged in the form of cash recompense of Ghc50,000 each.

The compensation followed a threat by the two to seek legal redress for the misfortune they suffered at the hands of the quack midwife employed by the New Generation Medical Centre. The health facility, however, opted for settlement ahead of the threatened legal action.

Kate, whose baby had been killed at the hands of the quack midwife, Francisca Quaye alias Matron Gaga, and Bernice who during childbirth had suffered a cut in the tissue at her genitals (episiotomy) also at the hands of Matron Gaga, had prior to the investigative stories been left helpless after the hospital’s brazen failure to perform its duty of care.

However, the exposé by The Fourth Estate brought their plight to the attention of the relevant authorities, including the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA), that fined the Accra-based hospital Ghc80,000 ($6,700), the heaviest fine ever in the agency’s history. This put the hospital under public scrutiny and thus, made it possible for the two victims to demand accountability.

Even so, Kate and Bernice say they are still psychologically scarred by the experiences that they had at the hospital which is just one of two hospitals which had been exposed by The Fourth Estate for using the services of the quack midwife.

Matron Gaga is still on the run from the law. However, The Fourth Estate’s exposé has brought the two hospitals under the radar of HeFRA and forced the hospitals to improve their systems.

The same exposé has also jolted HeFRA itself into a more alert posture, with the regulator deciding to pay unannounced visits to all registered healthcare facilities across the country.

About The Fourth Estate

The Fourth Estate is a non-profit, public interest and accountability investigative journalism project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). Established in 2021, The Fourth Estate aims to promote independent and critical research-based journalism that holds those in power answerable to the people they govern.

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