Ndera hospital doctors under probe over student’s death

The cause of death of a 19-year-old student at Ndera Psychiatric Hospital has remained a subject of controversy between the deceased’s relatives and the doctors who carried out the post-mortem.
The late Emmanuel Mugabe.
The late Emmanuel Mugabe.

The cause of death of a 19-year-old student at Ndera Psychiatric Hospital has remained a subject of controversy between the deceased’s relatives and the doctors who carried out the post-mortem.

According to our source from Gasabo Court, doctors at Ndera Hospital say the deceased, Emmanuel Mugabe, a senior six student at Kagarama Secondary School committed suicide.

But relatives claim there could have been foul play against Mugabe and they want an independent doctor to carry out another post-mortem to establish the exact cause of his death.

Mugabe died last month on March 22 and was buried the following day in Kiramuruzi-Gatsibo District.

The deceased had visited the hospital to receive treatment for mental illness in August last year following reports of mental distress.

Family members say Mugabe became highly ‘disturbed’ after scoring poorly in mathematics-his favourite subject. He was taken to Ndera Hospital for medical treatment.

Months later, he recovered and was discharged. But the doctors are said to have requested him to return in March this year to pick up his last dose of treatment.

“When he went back for his last treatment, he was declared dead hours later and this is strange,” the elder brother, who requested not to be named, said.

The relatives allege that on the fateful day, Mugabe had insisted to be given his medication and return to school but hospital authorities reportedly ‘detained’ him against his wish.

“Doctors said they wanted to monitor him taking his last treatment. Later, they (doctors) claimed he had committed suicide,” the brother, a student at KIST told this newspaper last Friday.

The New Times could not by press time independently verify claims that the deceased could have been given an overdose of the treatment.

However, on Monday, the Gasabo Court interrogated the two medical practitioners. They were released after five hours’ of questioning. They reportedly denied any wrongdoing.

Police at Rusororo identified one doctor as Jean Bosco Bigirimana and another as a female assistant nurse, Christine Uwingabire.

Espérance Mugenzi, a senior prosecutor at the Gasabo Court confirmed that the duo had been summoned on Monday.

“Investigations against them are still going on. They came here and recorded vital information,” Mugenzi said by phone last Friday. She appealed to the family members to remain calm.

A statement made by Rusororo police indicates that Ndera hospital staff saw the deceased moving out of his room heading to the corridor where he reportedly committed suicide from but nobody paid attention.

A member of staff at Ndera Hospital who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter however said yesterday that all patients at the hospital are tightly guarded.

“A patient cannot go out without being escorted,” a hospital female staff said.

Early this year, members of Rwanda Medical Council (RMC) deregistered two doctors from Ngarama Hospital for causing the death of a patient.

The duo Ric Kikoli, and N’sapu Yamba Yamba were reportedly blamed for the death of an expectant mother after a botched operation last year.

The mother, Didacienne Bankundiye, 32, died on November 24 last year after two unsuccessful operations. According to RMC, the operation was handled by inexperienced doctors.

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