The Ghana health system has failed thousands if not millions of patients, with many grieving their lost family members as days go by. Many have lost their trust in the health system – and others would resort to spiritual cure rather than going through the orthodox medical procedure.
Koo Fori, a well-known Ghanaian actor who hit the limelight through popular stage play “Concert Party” and TV series “Efie Wura”, is a victim of medical negligence. He lost his wife Mary Karikari after a surgeon’s incision went amiss during a caesarean section (c-section).
He was fired up to speak up at that time following series of similar stories from victims who encountered medical negligence at the Ridge Hospital in Accra. One of the victims, who was on the show that morning, disclosed that a towel was left inside her stomach for nine months after giving birth at the facility. This particular story struck Koo Fori to personally call in during the show to share his teary story.
Even though Koo Fori refused to disclose the name of the medical facility that caused him such pain, he called for medical practitioners who act unprofessionally to be exposed by the media and victims.
“Medical negligence caused the death of my wife,” Koo Fori tells Captain Smart with a shaky voice. “But for her, nothing was left in her stomach. The doctor cut a part of her stomach where he wasn’t supposed to. For three days, she couldn’t defecate.”
When late Mary Karikari visited her facility for a check-up due to pain in her stomach, she was ignored. Koo Fori believes the surgeon was aware of his negligence.
“She went back to the medical facility where she had undergone her surgical procedure but because the doctor knew what he had done, he neglected her. She wasn’t attended to. That led to her death.”
Koo Fori took up the matter and an investigation was launched. However, halfway through the investigation, the surgeon asked Koo Fori to drop the case.
“They intentionally asked her not to perform any duty at home because they don’t want anyone to betray their colleagues. They had to call the CID who was investigating the matter to talk to me to forget about the issue.”
“The saddest part is that the so-called professionals are the ones who rather kill us. Even if it’s out of negligence, someone has to correct it. What do we have to do? Instead of telling them that their negligence is killing innocent people so that they can correct it, they try to sweep it under the carpet. It’s been going on for a long time.”
According to Koo Fori, over twelve victims contacted him after his wife died and urged him to push the agenda through his radio show. For Koo Fori, this is the right time to expose such medical practitioners.
“After my wife died, I had over twelve people talking to me about the sad ordeal they had gone through and they thought that since I’m on the radio, I could talk about it to draw authorities’ attention to it.”
“It’s time for me to talk about it. Let the public know exactly what is going on and make them aware that even though they are exhibiting the beauty of their profession, they are killing people.”
“So, when I hear these stories, I get worried because my wife would have been alive by now. We need to expose them and let them know that their actions are killing innocent people.”
Mary Karikari passed away in 2010, but her baby survived.
Marking her 10th-anniversary last year, Koo Fori revealed in an Instagram post that they planned their baby christening together before she underwent a c-section.
“I say with a heavy heart! 10 years ago, just about this time, I remember I was planning with you on our outdooring for our newborn baby girl, you were full of smiles, you gave a full grin as you hold your first baby and you were more than the word happy. I congratulated you and hanged up the phone, not knowing that was your last day on earth!” he wrote.
Hitting on the shock surrounding her death, he sadly noted that: “Time really flies. Those who saw it could not spill it out, those who heard it could not believe it, it was too sudden they said. It was extremely disturbing news that is best not described. Even though you are no more, I know your spirit is with us. You’ll forever be remembered by all especially your lovely daughter, Ewurakua. Mary, REST IN PERFECT PEACE.”
He later shared another photo of his late wife with himself to add that: “Exactly 10 years today, your maker called you to eternal glory, leaving me and your little daughter so painfully. Even though you are no more, I know your spirit is with us. You’ll forever be remembered.”
This story is part of a Pulse campaign on medical negligence. #SaveOurPulse #PulseOnMedicalNegligence