Probe into am­pu­tated baby’s hand com­plete

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Whins­ley Masara

THE Min­istry of Health and Child Care has said in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the cir­cum­stances lead­ing to the am­pu­ta­tion of a month old baby’s hand blamed on al­leged med­i­cal staff neg­li­gence, have been com­pleted.

The Min­istry launched the probe last week af­ter the baby’s par­ents claimed that neg­li­gence on the part of Gwanda Pro­vin­cial Hospi­tal staff ne­ces­si­tated the am­pu­ta­tion.

The Min­istry of Health and Child Care Public Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, Dr Don­ald Mu­jiri, yes­ter­day said find­ings of the probe would be made public once the fam­ily has been in­formed of the out­come.

“We have com­pleted car­ry­ing out our in­ves­ti­ga­tions but we can­not dis­close the out­come to the me­dia be­fore we meet the fam­ily.

“We’ve al­ready re­quested the fam­ily lawyers for an au­di­ence with fam­ily to share the re­sults which we hope will be done as soon as pos­si­ble and then we can update you all,” he said.

Baby Andile had her right arm am­pu­tated af­ter nurses at Gwanda Pro­vin­cial Hospi­tal al­legedly mu­ti­lated it while try­ing to in­sert a can­nula. Gan­grene had set in on the arm and it was sur­gi­cally re­moved at the United Bu­l­awayo Hos­pi­tals (UBH) on Au­gust 23.

The fam­ily be­lieves that neg­li­gence by hospi­tal staff re­sulted in the am­pu­ta­tion of their child’s arm and they have since en­gaged lawyers to rep­re­sent them in de­mand­ing com­pen­sa­tion from the in­sti­tu­tion.

Andile’s fa­ther, Mr Tha­bani Galaweni, told The Chron­i­cle that he un­der­stands that su­ing the hospi­tal would not re­place their child’s hand but was do­ing it for the safety of other pa­tients in the fu­ture.

“We are not witch hunt­ing but at the same time, we won’t al­low neg­li­gence at in­sti­tu­tions which should be watch­ing out for peo­ple’s lives. I will al­ways re­peat and won’t hide my bit­ter­ness and be­lief that my daugh­ter will grow up with­out an arm be­cause hospi­tal staff slept on duty,” he said.

Mr Galaweni said they were dev­as­tated by the fact that due to the hospi­tal staff ’s neg­li­gence, Andile has had to go through a hor­ri­ble or­deal.

“Ac­cord­ing to the interviews we had with the of­fi­cials, I won’t be sur­prised if the re­sults won’t be in our favour,” he said.

Miss Pa­tience Chika­hamadze (25), the baby’s mother, said Andile was born at the health in­sti­tu­tion on July 22 when she went to visit rel­a­tives in Gwanda. She said the baby was ad­mit­ted for rou­tine ob­ser­va­tion on July 29 af­ter she was said to be de­hy­drated.

Miss Chika­hamadze said on July 29, nurses pricked her daugh­ter all over her arm in a vain at­tempt to in­sert a can­nula as they could not lo­cate a vein to put a drip.

“They pricked my baby on al­most 10 parts of her body and she wailed piteously. When they even­tu­ally forced it in, two pints of fluid were pumped into her arm be­fore the drip stopped flow­ing and her arm be­gan to swell,” she said.

Andile was even­tu­ally trans­ferred to Mpilo Cen­tral Hospi­tal in Bu­l­awayo on Au­gust 8 and she was am­pu­tated on Au­gust 23 at the United Bu­l­awayo Hos­pi­tals.

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