Hospital investigated after pregnant woman dies

Cameroon has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Cameroonian start-up Gifted Mom uses technology to help mothers and pregnant women in Cameroon access medical advice.

Story highlights

  • Koumate Monique was seven months pregnant with twins
  • Her death sparked international outrage on social media
  • The country's Public Health Minister says an investigation is ongoing, but also said the hospital wasn't negligent

(CNN)The death of a woman pregnant with twins in Cameroon sparked worldwide outrage and elicited a response from the country's public health minister.

Koumate Monique, 31, is said to have died near or in a hospital in the city of Douala on Saturday, according to local media reports.
    Graphic video showed what appears to be another woman trying to deliver the babies outside. According to Cameroononline.org, the woman attempting the delivery was a family member.
    The woman's story spread quickly, and protesters gathered in front of the hospital on Sunday.
    Andre Mama Fouda, the country's public health minister, said at a news conference Monday that the woman's death is a tragedy, but said authorities do not know exactly where she died. He said her death was not due to negligence -- according to state media.
    According to Fouda, this is what happened:
    -- Monique went to a public health facility for a consultation on Friday.
    -- Her family brought her to the Nylon District Hospital at 8 a.m. local time the next day, asking to "remove" the fetuses. The doctor there refused, saying it was not possible at that facility.
    -- The family then took her to the La Quintinie hospital emergency ward, where two workers then directed Monique to the maternity office.
    -- At the maternity ward, two healthcare workers noticed that Monique had died some time ago. It's not clear exactly where or when she died.
    -- The family was advised to take her body to the mortuary, but then returned to the maternity ward, hoping to save the twins. Someone from the mortuary accompanied the family back to the hospital. Then the mortuary worker attempted to deliver the fetuses.
    The attorney general ordered the two workers -- including a midwife -- and the woman who tried to perform an impromptu Cesarian section be arrested, state media said.
    CNN is attempting to reach out to Monique's family.
    The investigation is still ongoing, but the story has brought international attention to the state of medical infrastructure in the West African country.
    Though it has been on the decline, Cameroon has some one of the most staggering infant mortality rates in the world. It's maternal mortality rate is "alarmingly" high, according to UNICEF.