Fatimah will look into case of apparent death of infant girl on bus en route from Julau to Kuching

Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah

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UPDATE: It has been confirmed by the State Health Department that the infant in question was actually 3-months old at the time of death, not 9-months as earlier reported, and the bus was travelling from Kuching to Sarikei on Dec 4, not Julau to Kuching. Further details can be found in this story here.


SIBU, Dec 9: The apparent death of a 9-month old girl who was en route on a bus to Kuching from Julau for medical treatment has caught the attention of Minister of Women, Children and Community Welfare Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.

Though she was unaware of the matter as she was then attending the 2022 London Design Award, she said she was taking the case very seriously.

In a video that had gone viral on Dec 5, the young mother of the sick baby girl was on the way to a hospital in Kuching from Julau when mid-way, the baby appeared weak and lifeless when they stopped in Jelukong in Engkilili. The mother then claimed her baby had died at the scene.

“I don’t know about this incident because I was in London with my entourage for official business and only arrived last night (Thursday).

“If this is true, it is something serious and needs to be taken into account,” she said to reporters during a visit to the Sibu Temporary Transit Centre for the homeless individuals today.

According to Fatimah, the normal procedure that parents should take is to send their sick child to the nearest clinic or hospital in their respective area instead of straight to the Sarawak General Hospital.

“When the child is sick, first we need to go to the nearest clinic or hospital so that we know what is happening (to the child), then we get treatment and leave it to the specialist to decide what to do next.

“The doctor will decide where they (child) will go to next if the hospital has no specialist or not enough equipment to provide (extensive) treatment,” she said.

Fatimah pointed out that usually if the baby is referred to the nearest clinic or hospital and they did not offer specific services or treatment, the hospital will help transfer the patient to another hospital such as Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).

“In one case in Mukah for instance, the baby was born with a lot of complications. A specialist and doctor in Mukah recommended the mother and child to SGH and provided them with a helicopter for transport.

“So, I am not sure what has happened here because if the child is critical the doctor will not allow her to do this. We have heard of flying doctor’s service and so on. If it is a serious case the doctor or nurses must have accompanied them.

“So, in this case, there are a lot of question marks,” she said. — DayakDaily