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Fact Check - Were These Images Taken in a Hospital in Ghana?

By Nyakerario Omari

On May 8, 2021, this tweet under the hashtags #FixThecountryGhana and #NameandShame made sarcastic remarks against Ghana’s health care system.

Showing the same image of infants arranged on plastic seats, this tweet went up on the internet a day later, addressing gaps in Ghana’s health care system, with over 258 retweets and 28 quote tweets.

Background

Ghana has a poor healthcare system, ranging from limited bed space to health providers’ burnout. The most recent case is that of a 12-year-old boy who died as a result of the ‘no-bed syndrome’, referring to a situation where there is limited bed space for patients. This is an example of the current state of healthcare in Ghana. Conversations surrounding #FixTheCountryGhana have centred around calls for reforms in healthcare, housing, media rights and governance sectors.

Verification

A reverse image search shows that this image first surfaced on the internet on August 15, 2019, from Kawempe General Referral Hospital. This hospital, located on Bombo Road, in Uganda, had reported an overwhelming number of patients resulting in a shortage of beds.

A tweet on the same day attributed these images of infants to Kawempe Hospital. This hospital is said to attract quite a number of expectant women, something that explains the limited bed space.

According to the Uganda Ministry of Health, an average of 80–100 babies are delivered daily and 2,500 per month. Approximately 30,000 babies are delivered annually in this hospital, according to the ministry. The hospital’s overcrowding is said to have been caused by an increased number of referrals from lower health facilities around Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono and other parts of Uganda.

Blaming the public for overreacting to these images of infants on plastic chairs, the Ministry of Health assured Ugandans that the babies were in a temperature-regulated environment and infection, prevention and control measures were adhered to ensuring they were not in any danger.

Verdict

The image claiming to show infants on plastic seats in Ghana is MISLEADING. This image was taken in Uganda in 2019.

This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.

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WanaData is a Pan-African network of female journalists, data scientists and techies working on changing the digital media landscape by producing and promoting data-driven news while applying digital technologies in their storytelling.

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