Prosecutors are seeking a two-year jail term for two medics of Baho Hospital who are charged with involuntary manslaughter. The medics in question, Dr. Gaspard Ntahonkiriye, a gynecologist and Dr. Alfred Mugemanshuro, an anesthesiologist are being prosecuted in regard to the death of Chantal Ngwinondebe, a female patient who died as they were operating on her to remove an intrauterine device (IUD) from her body in September last year. On Friday, November 18, the trial in substance began at Kicukiro Primary Court after almost a year and a half. Presenting the charges, the prosecutors said the two medics did the procedure in a way that was characterised by negligence, and less cautiousness. According to the prosecution’s statement, when the patient checked into the hospital on September 7, last year, Dr. Ntahonkiriye tried to remove the IUD from her body, it was so painful that he decided to use hysteroscopy, a surgical intervention that is done by the use of endoscopy. She was advised to return to the hospital two days later for the procedure, and she did. Dr. Mugemanshuro anesthetized and Dr. Ntahonkiriye carried out the surgery, but she did not survive the operation. A provisional autopsy report showed that she died of laryngospasm, a spasm of the vocal cords that temporarily makes it difficult to breathe. The prosecutors argued that her death would have been avoided if the medics had done everything well. Among the things that the prosecutors claim made the surgery go wrong was the lack of oxygen in the theatre, as well as adrenaline, a medicine used to treat cardiac arrest. In their defence, the medics said they did all they had to do, and refuted the prosecutors’ statement that oxygen and adrenaline were not available. The prosecutors maintained that adrenaline was not available, as they cited a testimony of one witness who told investigators that a one Dr. Thomas (an employee at the hospital at that time) rushed to buy adrenaline in Gisimenti when the patient had already passed on. Adrenaline is always used within two to three minutes when a patient is experiencing cardiac arrest. So, the fact that Dr. Thomas went to buy it almost an hour after the patient had died can be interpreted as an attempt to cover up for the hospital’s mistake of operating on a patient without having such an important drug at their disposal, the prosecutors said. Dr. Jean Bonaventure Uwineza, one of the medics that carried out a probe into Baho Hospital’s operations in the aftermath of Ngwinondebe’s death was also in court to explain a couple of things to the judges. He told the court that when his team went to the hospital to do the investigation, they found enough adrenaline that could be used for the whole year. He added that oxygen was available as well. When the judge asked him what led to the decision to close the hospital last year, he responded that it was not his team that closed the hospital, but the Medical and Dental Council. The hearing of the case will continue on December 9.