Pregnant Grade 11 learner dies on operating table in Kavango

08 Oct 2013 07:40am
MATAVA, 08 OCT (NAMPA) - Family members of a pregnant Grade 11 learner who died before delivering her baby are claiming that negligence by medical doctors led to the loss of her and the baby’s lives.
Selma Muka, 21, from the Kandjimi Murangi Secondary School in the Kavango West Region, was nine-months-pregnant when she died on 25 September this year, allegedly after a wrong injection was administered to her shortly before a Caesarean section operation was about to performed.
The family said the medical doctor in charge of the operation apparently repeatedly said sorry for causing the death of their daughter, and that it was “just a mistake”.
Muka was rushed to the Nankudu District Hospital on 23 September to deliver her baby, as she was already in her ninth month of pregnancy.
After two days of being admitted in that hospital, she still did not go into labour, leading to health officials there deciding on a Caesarean section operation.
Muka’s visibly traumatised mother Namutenya Mberema told Nampa on Tuesday that doctors at that hospital forced her to give consent to have her daughter operated on.
However, she requested them to refer her to the Rundu Intermediate Hospital for that operation, but they allegedly refused.
She explained that she was informed at around midday on the same day by the two doctors who were in the theatre that her daughter and her unborn baby had died.
Mberema said one of the medical doctors repeatedly apologised in the presence of other family members for causing her daughter’s death, saying he used a wrong injection, and that it was unintentional.
The family members are now calling on the Ministry of Health and Social Services to investigate the incident. If found guilty, the doctor hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), should be repatriated, they asked.
The Nankudu District Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Chris Okebie confirmed to this reporter that he was aware of the family’s grievances.
He, however, refused to divulge any more information, only saying that he had forwarded all reports to the Rundu State Hospital’s Medical Superintendent, Dr. Juri Yangazov.
Yangazov told this agency on Tuesday that the post-mortems were conducted in Windhoek this Monday, and that they are just awaiting the results.
The corpses were taken to Windhoek upon request of the family members of the deceased.
Yangazov said it is difficult to say when the report will be available as there will also be a forensic investigation, which is complex, and it will be done by a highly-qualified pathologist.
He refused to say what measures will be taken against the DRC-born doctor, should he be found guilty of negligence.
Meanwhile, the Namibian Police Force’s Acting Crime Investigations’ Co-ordinator, Detective Chief Inspector Chrispin Mubebo confirmed to Nampa on Tuesday that an inquest docket into the incident was opened on 27 September.
Mubebo indicated that the police have already obtained statements from both the family members and the implicated doctor, who is known to this reporter but whose name cannot be revealed at this stage.