Armed robbers on Sunday, allegedly stole three babies at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital and also left the facility with some cash.
The armed robbers numbering about 10, stormed the paediatric unit of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, reportedly assaulted nurses on duty as well as nursing mothers and pregnant women in an operation and also stole mobile telephones in the attack which lasted for less than 10 minutes.
The robbers who didn’t wear masks, were well armed and easily gained entry into the maternity section, and moved from bed to bed to pick up the babies. Punch reported that a nurse seen consoling a sobbing nursing mother who pleaded not to be named, said;
“Yesterday (Sunday) night, several armed robbers gained access to this (paediatric) unit. They came with guns and machetes. They beat up my colleagues and some nursing mothers. They took away some babies and money from the patients and nursing mothers.
“The security in this hospital has been very porous. Lives of patients, nurses and doctors are at risk. There is nowhere in this hospital that is safe. There is so much stealing going on. Visitors are no longer controlled. People troop into the wards without any check. Many, including thieves, come in the guise of being patients’ relatives.
“Hospital properties are stolen frequently, while electricity supply is a big challenge in the hospital, because the diesel and generator parts are stolen frequently by the workers and armed robbers.”
Chief Medical Director, UCTH, Prof. Thomas Agan, denied the occurrence of the incident when he was contacted on the phone on Monday, as it was further gathered that personnel of private security firms and regular policemen had for some months now withdrawn their services to the hospital over non-payment of their salaries by the management of the health institution several months.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, also said the incident had not been reported to the command.