The head of Muhima Hospital in Kigali is investigating some of his doctors to establish whether there is a prima facie case of medical negligence which resulted in the death of a seventeen year expectant mother.
A highly placed source at Muhima Hospital alleges that Antoinette Ayinkamiye spent three hours without being attended to by the doctors on duty yet she was very sick.
According to the source who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, the doctors reportedly intervened after the girl collapsed.
“The girl had complained about severe pain but some doctors were not paying attention. They only acted after she fainted,” the source said last week.
The deceased whom the source says was a house maid from Kabuga in Gasabo District reportedly visited the hospital on February 9, 2009.
She was reportedly escorted by her uncle whose identity could not readily available by press time. The girl reportedly died seconds later after she was rushed to the theatre.
The deceased, the source added was heading to Cyangungu-Western Province her home area but first checked in the hospital for treatment. She had arrived at the hospital around 6am and died at 8am-three hours after, according to reports.
The New Times could not by press time independently verify whether the deceased died because of medical negligence.
The Director of Muhima Hospital, Dr. Blaise Uhagaze said in an interview last week that he had started an inquiry to establish whether there was negligence of duty. He said he had already talked to the doctors who were on duty that day, over the matter.
“The information I have indicates that the doctors didn’t know that the girl was in critical conditions,” Uhagaze said, stressing that “we shall get to the root cause of the matter.”
Uhagaze said he was told by the doctors on duty that there was a baby who was very ill and they had to attend to the child before treating Ayinkamiye.
“I think there was a problem but I need time to investigate the issue. I was on my leave when the incident happened,” Uhagaze explained.
According to him, the deceased could have been sick for days or months before she was transferred to Muhima Hospital.
“The doctors say that later, they discovered that Ayinkamiye was very dehydrated. We hear she had visited several health centers before she was brought here,” Uhagaze said. He said it was too early to apportion blame and declined to name the doctor who was on duty.
“In such a situation, it is not only one doctor. It is the entire team,” Uhagaze stressed. Uhagaze said a social worker; a 50 year old woman who registers the patients, had said the deceased looked much stronger than other patients on the queue.
“I have already heard from a senior doctor who handled the case. The doctor says they didn’t know the girl was very sick,” Uhagaze said.
Ayinkamiye’s death comes days after members of Rwanda Medical Council (RMC) deregistered two doctors from Ngarama Hospital.
The duo Ric Kikoli, and N’sapu Yamba Yamba are reportedly blamed for the death of an expectant mother after a botched operation last year.
Innocent Gakwaya, President of Rwanda Medical Council had earlier said the decision against the doctors was taken after thorough investigation by Medical Experts on the possible cause of the woman’s death.
The mother, Didacienne Bankundiye, 32, died on November 24 last year after two unsuccessful operations. According to RMC, the operation should have been handled by highly experienced doctors.