A couple received the scare of their lives yesterday when their one-day-old baby was taken from the recovery ward at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) maternity block.
The parents of the missing baby, citizens of India who are both employed as nurses at the university hospital, were overjoyed when they got news that the police, acting on a tip, found the child hidden in a house in eastern Kingston. A woman who was at the premises was immediately taken into police custody.
According to a release issued by chairman of the hospital board, James Moss-Solomon, staff members were alerted about 10:30 am that the baby, who had been delivered to a diabetic mother on Thursday, December 8, was missing from its cot adjacent to the mother’s bed.
The hospital said that visiting hours had not yet begun at the time the baby was discovered missing.
A group of people, including the child’s father, took the matter to the Office of the Prime Minister in a bid to find the baby as quickly as possible. It was not clear if they were able to speak to anyone from the office, but by late afternoon the police announced that the newborn had been found in the eastern Kingston area of Rollington Town. No details of the circumstances surrounding the rescue were provided by the police.
According to Moss-Solomon, staff on Ward 11 at the UHWI at the time when the baby went missing included nurses, doctors and other medical personnel who were making clinical rounds.
“The hospital immediately called the police and our security provider, Marksman Limited, and a special investigating team attached to our security provider [went to work immediately],” the hospital board chairman said.
Moss-Solomon said that the hospital took immediate additional action to further secure the premises, and that all vehicles leaving the compound were searched when it was discovered that a baby had been kidnapped from the hospital.
In the meantime, the hospital immediately instituted a new security policy which requires all visitors to the facility to present valid identification before they are allowed to access wards, or any other sensitive areas.
“We will accept a picture ID, which will include a valid driver’s licence, the national ID or a passport,” the hospital board chairman informed.