Cameroonian Teenage Mother Cries For Justice
Amidst the pain of hunger,intimidation from hospital staff and fear of the unknown ,17 year old Vanessa Tcatchou is still looming the premises of the gyneco -obstetric and pediatric hospital Ngousso ,a public hospital in Cameroon`s capital Yoaunde where she has been occupying a hospital bed for six months now.The teenage mother is pressing to know the where abouts of her new born baby girl.The baby was stolen from an incubator in the hospital ,24 hours after its birth on August 20 2011.Latest reports from Cameroon say.
Sources from the country reveal that ,the government for six months gave a deaf ear to Vanessa`s plea for justice.Reacting to an incessant pressure for justice from Cameroonians both at home and in the diaspora, Cameroon`s president Paul Biya passed a recent order calling for thorough investigation to be opened on this issue.The country`s communication minister in a press conference , early February declared the stolen baby dead and buried.Mean while other accounts hold that the baby is in the keeping of a female magistrate who claims to have adopted it in the Yaounde Central hospital on the 21st of August 2011,(one day after the theft of Ms Tchatchou`s baby.)Reports say the Magistrate has refused to make the baby available for a DNA test.It is alledged that the adoption paper`s were signed by the country`s minister of social affairs.
Vanessa has received support from the population in the form of protest demonstrations which have only led to more suppression from police forces who keep dispersing the people through the use of threats.On the 10th of February a group of youths were arrested for staging a protest demonstration promising to peturb the holding of youth day festivities on the 11th if Vanessa`s baby is not produced.
Vanessa in an interview with the country`s local press says she has received several threats from the hospital staff especially from the nurses who keep on insulting her for wanting to rub the hospital`s name in mud.The 17 year old orphan says her life is in danger because she does not trust the hospital staff but she will not give up her actions untill the whereabouts of her baby is known.
According to Le Jour Newspaper,on the 24th of January 2012 two gendarmes of the Ngousso gendarmarie brigade conveyed Vanessa to the office of one of the high court presidents who tried to make the girl quit the hospital premises by intimidating her and her widowed mother.Unfortunately the 45 minutes encounter was abortive as she was determined to remain in the hospital.While Vanessa was out of the hospital for the meeting with the high court official, the hospital administration put another patient on her hospital bed and kept a hospital bill of 500.000FCFA (about 10000 dollars)for her at the hospital reception.
Vanessa is currently receiving support from many Cameroonians at home and abroad who think her actions are worth encouraging in the face of a government which has refused to render justice to helpless citizens like her.The incident is causing some unrest in the country
as allegations say women planning to boycott women day celebration come March 8 if nothing is done for justice to take its full course.