The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed the death of a newborn baby in Johor Bahru on Feb 4 was due to shortness of breath (asphyxia) after the baby's head was stuck in the mother's perineum during a footling breech delivery at home.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (photo) said the birth of the baby was also supervised by an individual who was not a certified health personnel.
“The MOH has strong evidence and witnesses for this case and the Sultan Ismail Hospital has also lodged a police report on the matter,” Noor Hisham said in a statement issued in Kuala Lumpur late last night.
However, he said, no MOH staff had been called by the police to give a statement on the case so far.
“The MOH views the case seriously and expresses regret over the incident as it is an avoidable infant mortality case. Our condolences to the parents and families of the baby,” he added.
The case has gone viral on social media after the baby was said to have died of complications while under the alleged supervision of a doula, a non-medical person assisting during childbirth .
Earlier yesterday, South Johor police chief Shahurinain Jais said investigations by the police have revealed that a doula was not involved in the death of the newborn baby.
Shahurinain said the complainant and the baby's mother had denied using the services of a doula in giving birth to the child.
“A complete investigation has been conducted by the police, and it was found that the cause of the baby's death was not due to using the services of a doula,” he said in a statement in Johor Bahru.