Pregnant Woman Killed by Sittwe Hospital Staff
April 9, 2014
Sittwe, Arakan -- On April 9th 2014 at 12:00 PM police returned the body of Hasina Begum to Sittwe IDP camps. She had left to go to Sittwe Hospital on April 7th for treatment of diarrhea and problems with urination. She was two months pregnant at the time, and was accompanied by her sister, Jamila Begum. A statement from her Husband, Shomsul Alam, son of Muhammad Ameen reads as follows:
"My name is Shomsul Alam, S/o Muhammad Ameen, 25 years old, living in Thet Kay Pyin IDP camp, Sittwe, Arakan. My wife Hasina Begum, D/o Bodi Alam, 20 years old was suffering from diarrhea and can't urinate last week. So we took her to Dar Paing clinic, Sittwe on 7 April 2014.Doctors told that her condition was severe and they needed to refer her to Sittwe General Hospital. [They said] No need to worry and doctors guaranteed that she would recover if she is given treatment in hospital. So she was sent to Sittwe hospital by doctors of Dar Paing clinic. We spoke to charge-doctor and asked about my wife's condition on telephone 04322786.He told us that wife is improving and she would return tomorrow and we were to wait for her in Dar Paing clinic. Then, charge-doctor called early this morning and said my wife had died. My wife was brought from hospital to my home at 12:00 PM today. After she had been brought to us we saw many signs of beating in wife's body. It seems she was beaten by Rakhinese nurses and doctors after she had been killed."
On the final night of her stay in the hospital it was reported that a nurse entered her room while they were sleeping and had an injection prepared to administer to Hasina. Jamila Bagum noticed this and argued that her sister was well and had no need for any injection. It was reported that Jamila was then restrained and the injection was given to Hasina in front of Jamila. Hasina died shortly after. Jamila and the body of Hasina were removed from the hospital the following day by Police. Jamila Begum reported the incident as follows:
"My name is Jamila Begum, daughter of Bodi Alam, 30 years old, living in Thay Chaung IDP camp, Sittwe. I went to Sittwe hospital with my sister as her caretaker. Doctors and nurses treated us ruthlessly in hospital. Doctors and nurses kept beating and scolding. They insulted us as Rohingya. Whenever they came to my sister to give treatment, they used to tell us that this is not your Rohingyas' hospital. You should have gone to Rohingyas' hospital. In earlier morning 3:00 AM today, a Rakhinese nurse came and gave a green colored injection with a small syringe to my sister. When I saw it I struggled my damnedest to prevent her not to give that injection to my sister, but I couldn't stop her because a crowd of nurses came and caught me tightly. No sooner did the nurse give this injection my sister started to struggle and died.”
There were two Hindu workers at the hospital who care for the dead bodies. Hasina's body was removed from the bed by them. As Jamila worried that the body may be just thrown on the floor, she gave the workers money to properly treat her sister’s body. But still she heard a sound when they threw her on the floor.
“I even gave the money, Kyat 10,500, to a Hindu worker there to keep the dead body in good place, but they did not, as I noticed my sister’s body was inhumanely beaten. When I complained about that to the police a crowd of doctors and nurses came towards me. They were like ready to kill me but fortunately I was saved by police.”
Jamila then complained about the treatment of her sister’s body to the police as she was with them at that time. While complaining a crowd of doctors and nurses came towards her as though they were ready to kill her. However, the police said to her, “don't worry they can't kill you in front of me.”
There has been a drastic increase in reports of pregnant Rohingya women losing child at Sittwe Hospital since the removal of MSF from Rakhine State. Likewise, the reports of abuse, neglect, and death under extremely suspicious circumstances have increased dramatically. When Rohingya become sick or injured now they are faced to choose for themselves or their loved ones whether they will wait and hope their health improves without medical care, or risk being treated by doctors they fear may give them extremely poor care or may even attempt to kill them.