Needle finally removed from woman’s stomach after seven months

Delphine Nyiransabimana knew something was wrong after she delivered a baby at Ruhengeri Hospital by caesarian section last June.
Delphine Nyiransabimana with her family before the operation. The Sunday Times/Courtesy
Delphine Nyiransabimana with her family before the operation. The Sunday Times/Courtesy

Delphine Nyiransabimana knew something was wrong after she delivered a baby at Ruhengeri Hospital by caesarian section last June.

It was later discovered by her doctor that a piece of broken needle had been left inside her stomach, but the doctors at Ruhengeri Hospital could not remove it.

After seven months, the 24-year-old mother underwent surgery Friday morning at CHUK Hospital.

“The surgery has left me with a lot of pain [around the groin] but at least I am glad that the foreign object has been removed,” she said.  She also expressed optimism that her condition would improve.

Esther Mukabwana, in-charge of Maternity Care at CHUK was equally optimistic that Nyiransabimana’s condition would improve. 

“Her condition is stable and we expect to discharge her within two days, if all goes well.”  

Nyiransabimana said the search for a solution rotated between Ruhengeri and Nemba hospitals. It was at Nemba that X-ray images showed a piece of metal inside her.

Local leaders and hospital officials said they had been aware of the case but the woman remained untreated for months. It was until last week when Members of Parliament and provincial leaders visited the sector to interact with residents that the issue came up.

“I was sent back to Ruhengeri Hospital but they couldn’t help, they told me my medical file was missing. They told me to go back home and wait to be operated upon by the Director of the hospital, she narrated.

Before the operation was performed at CHUK, Emmanuel Mbonyinshuti, the husband of the woman, said they had waited for help from Ruhengeri hospital administration for months to no avail.

Local residents told MPs that Ruhengeri Hospital had been offering poor service for years and cases of negligence have been reported in the past but nothing was done to improve the situation.

The hospital administrators admitted the needle had been left inside the woman after delivery but they thought it had been removed as the family requested for a transfer to another hospital.

“We didn’t neglect her case; she delivered well but when doctors were repairing her the needle broke. Doctors tried to remove it but failed. We informed the family and urged them to wait for a few weeks as the mother was very weak, but the family insisted that they wanted a transfer to another hospital,” said Dr Deogratias  Ndekezi, the Director of Ruhengeri Hospital

During the visit to the sector with other MPs, Speaker Donatille Mukabalisa said the doctors had acted irresponsibly.

 

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