Grief engulfed residents of Kasese Municipality when a three-weeks old baby died after undergoing circumcision. The baby’s mother Dorah Muhindo, said she was instructed by the health workers at St. Paul’s Health Centre IV not to feed the baby from 6am since the operation was to be done at 7am but it took place at 11am.
A relative, who preferred anonymity, said the child was discharged at 5pm.
A medical source at the health centre said: “Imagine a three-week-old child spent more than eight hours without eating and no fluids were given to him, obviously his glucose levels reduced causing dehydration and eventually death.”
The parents said the child was discharged before he regained consciousness but his condition worsened when they reached home. The baby was taken back to the hospital but it was too late to save his life. However, health workers accused the mother of having breast-fed him before the recommended time.
A death certificate from the health unit reads: “The child died because of being breast-fed before he gained consciousness.” Locals wondered how a child would be discharged by a medical worker before gaining consciousness.
When contacted, the in-charge of the health centre, Dr Anthony Kiwanuka, said: “I am not at the health unit now, I am with police in the field.” The health centre administrator, the Rev. Josephat Bwaruma, said he was not briefed about the matter.
Residents have vowed to take the matter to court if the family drops the issue.
Within four months, four children have died at St. Paul’s Health Centre IV and Bishop Masereka Health Centre, after circumcision.