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DOH seeks hospital's explanation on 'baby's taped-mouth' case.

Cebu City, Cebu - The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) is asking the Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House Inc. (CPCMHI) to speed up submission of its report on the taping of a baby's mouth case even as the Commission on Human Rights in the region (CHR-7) has conducted its own independent probe of the same incident to determine if the said act could be considered a human right violation.

DoH-7 information officer Suzzette Jabonete said the agency already has visited the hospital last week and has sent it a letter to ask for a copy of the incident report, policies and procedures on neonatal, intensive care unit, patient's chart and the findings of the initial investigation.

The agency has convened a fact-finding team headed by Dr. Sofia Mancao to conduct an investigation regarding the incident.

However, as of press time Jabonete disclosed that the hospital has yet to submit any preliminary reports to the agency.

"We are still waiting for the response," she said adding that the DOH would want the baby boy's parents to file a formal complaint so that details of the incident will also form part of the agency's investigation.

Jabonete pointed out that the DOH-7 is giving the hospital until this week to submit its initial report, "if not then we will visit the hospital again to ask to be shed light on the incident."

She stressed that the DoH is not condemning the hospital but that the agency wants it to fast track its own investigation results and clear up its name since it had been perceived as a reputable institution for decades which, over the years, has been providing maternal and baby care to thousands of patients.

Members of the board of director of CPCMHI were reportedly disappointed with the incident which is why all on-duty staff during the date of the incident were made to make their own incident report as part of the hospital's thorough investigation.

Jabonete stressed that the incident has been an eye-opener not only to the CPCMHI but also all hospitals and the DoH which has been especially promoting its Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (MBFHI).

The CPCMHI is currently a holder of the MBFHI certificate of commitment which will expire this October.

The MBFHI promotes exclusive breastfeeding to newborn infants and discourages the giving of artificial nipples or pacifiers. Reports however state that the controversial baby boy Yohannes born last May 3 was seen by his parents with his mouth taped with plaster at the CPCMHI nursery last May 9 for allegedly crying too loud, despite having been given a pacifier.

Earlier, reports also revealed that Jasmine Badocdoc the mother of the child had been told that the taping of Yohannes' mouth was to prevent the pacified from falling off the baby's mouth.


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Title Annotation:Provincial
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:May 14, 2014
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