Byumba Hospital medics cleared of malpractice

An investigative team appointed by the Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, has cleared doctors at Byumba Hospital of any suspicion of medical malpractice after doctors found three gloves, a syringe and cotton wool inside a woman’s vaginal canal. The National Police has been asked to take over the case.
Zawadi Murekatete  on a hospital bed at CHUK.
Zawadi Murekatete on a hospital bed at CHUK.

An investigative team appointed by the Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, has cleared doctors at Byumba Hospital of any suspicion of medical malpractice after doctors found three gloves, a syringe and cotton wool inside a woman’s vaginal canal. The National Police has been asked to take over the case.

The woman, Zawadi Murekatete, 20, a Congolese refugee at Gihembe Refugee Camp, earlier claimed that doctors at the hospital left the medical apparatus inside her uterus while undergoing a cesarean section three years ago.

The investigative team, headed by Dr. Eugene Ngoga, revealed that the offending items were found in Murekatete’s vaginal canal not in her uterus. 

“We did the investigations thoroughly and found no connection with the allegations. There is no connection from where these items were found and the uterus. In addition, the types of gloves that were found in her vagina are not used in the theatre,” said Dr. Ngoga. 

The team discovered that the latex gloves found inside her were examination gloves, not surgical gloves, which would have been used during a cesarean section.  Dr. Ngoga also pointed out that during a cesarean operation; a surgeon does not need a syringe.

 

How it unfolded

 

According to Murekatete, after getting her labour pains on the morning of April 1, 2008, she was rushed to the camp’s health centre and immediately transferred to Byumba Hospital because she had to undergo a cesarean section, an operation the camp’s health centre could not perform.

In an interview with The New Times, Murekatete said that she underwent the operation and gave birth to a healthy child. 

“When I left the theatre, my stomach started swelling immediately; I was in a lot of pain. The following day, I went to the toilet, the stitches came loose and my stomach slit open.”

She was rushed to the theatre where she was re-stitched but her stomach kept swelling and she had to undergo another operation on April 5 last year.

“I was discharged but I kept seeing puss in my urine. I consulted the doctors at the camp’s health centre who then referred me back to Byumba Hospital,”

Murekatete lived in pain for three years until January 5, 2012, when a piece of cotton dropped out of her private parts as she was urinating.

Due to the dangerous state she was in, camp doctors decided to transfer her to Kigali Teaching Hospital (CHUK) where she underwent an operation the same day.

Murekatete claims that was when the medical tools were found in her uterus, left there by Byumba hospital doctors.

 

Byumba Hospital denies claims

 

Byumba Hospital has denied being all responsibility. “There is no way a doctor would do that, also, it is important to note that a person would not live for three years with such items in her uterus,” said Dr Fred Muhairwe the head of Byumba Hospital. 

edwin.musoni@newtimes.co.rw

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