By Marcus Malayea in Gbarnga City Bong County
Security officers at the Phebe Hospital in Suacoco, Bong County recently arrested Ernest Keyean, 40, who holds a secondary school certificate, for pretending to be a registered nurse at the hospital.
It is alleged that before his arrest, Keyean was working at the hospital as a nurse aid, administering drugs to patients.
Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, the Medical Director of Phebe Hospital, Dr. Jefferson Sibley, denied media reports that a nurse impersonator had been working at the hospital since October 2016.
“How big is the hospital that somebody will work here for nine consecutive months that his/her colleagues will not know? Ernest Keyean never worked at the hospital, although he was arrested there,” Dr. Sibley said.
He added: “The hospital receives more than two hundred and fifty patients daily and one of the challenges is that the hospital is not fenced, so these “black baggers” who are dressed as nurses come around to impersonate and sell medicine to the patients, which we don’t have control of.”
According to the Bong County health authorities, Keyean was apprehended by health workers assigned at the Phebe Hospital and turned over to Phebe Security when he was noticed selling medicine to a patient seeking medical attention at the hospital.
Bong County Health Officer, Dr. Gabriel G. Logan, said the effects of quackery (the promotion of fraudulent or ignorant medical practices) on the society were widespread and that they often cause citizens untold hardships. Dr. Logan admonished citizens to be mindful of the numerous untrained “black baggers” in the streets “with pen and paper claiming to be nurses or doctors.”
He disclosed that records have shown that Ernest Keyean attended a local nursing school in Gbarnga but dropped out in 2003 because he could not meet up with the grade point average “and from that date on he has been involved in black bagging, particularly in the rural areas.”
“People should not assume that every person handling building tools at construction sites are engineers,” Dr. Logan remarked.
He said quackery is prevalent in the country because the policies regulating the ethics of the medical profession are not implemented to the letter and the government’s reluctant attitude to prohibiting the wearing of medical uniforms by non-medical personnel. When this newspaper contacted officers at the Gbartala Police Depot, Keyean’s arrest was confirmed and it was revealed that he was arrested with fake medical documents.
Police records reveal that Keyean had in his possession two voter registration cards, with both bearing his photos under two different names: Robert Kollie registered at the Civil Compound Community and Ernest Keyean registered at the Brooklyn Community.
Police told this newspaper that Keyean has been charged with “impersonating” in accordance with the law and sent to the Gbartala Magisterial Court for prosecution.