Two midwives arrested over death of expectant mother

Wednesday March 11 2020

Women walking in the compound of Kalisizo

Women walking in the compound of Kalisizo General Hospital on March 11, 2020. PHOTO BY AMBROSE MUSASIZI 


Police in Kyotera District are holding two midwives attached to Kalisizo General Hospital over alleged negligence of duty.
The arrests followed death of an expectant mother whose relatives insist was not given the care needed by an expectant mother.

Police have identified the deceased as Gaudensia Namata, a resident of Buziranduulu Village in Kasaali Town Council, Kyotera District.
According to one of Namata’s relative, Ms Sarah Nanjego, they arrived at the facility on Tuesday at 10 pm but to their dismay, no health worker attended to them.
“We tried to be patient thinking that they[ health workers] were attending to other patients but when I moved around I met one of the midwives and she requested for Shs 160,000 to attend to Namata,” she said.

Ms Nanjego further said they managed to mobilize the money from relatives in four hours and it reached her via mobile money. Since it was late in the night, Nanjego said it was difficult to withdraw the money.
“There was no mobile money outlet open by 2 am. We later suggested to send it direct to their [midwives] mobile phone but they refused to receive the money saying they preferred cash,” she said.
By this time, Ms Nanjego said Namata started feeling more abdominal pain and cried for help.

“We tried to reach out to the acting hospital Superintendent, Mr Emmanuel Ssekyeru who was inside one of the rooms but he denied us audience, saying it was too late for him to attend to patients,” she added.
Nanjego narrates that a few minutes to 3am, the midwives tried to help Ms Namata to deliver but this was very late. An hour later, Namata breathed her last due to suspected prolonged obstructed labour.

Nanjego’s death led to commotion at the hospital as relatives of the deceased attempted to fight with the midwives and other health workers.
Police later intervened and arrested the two midwives who were on duty that night.
Mr Abbey Ngwiire, the Kyotera District police commander, the midwives have been charged with negligence of duty.
“We still have them in our custody at Kalisizo Police station as investigations go on,” he said.

Dr Edward Muwanga, the Kyotera District health officer said the cause of Namata’s death will be ascertained after carrying out a postmortem at Masaka Regional Referral hospital.
“Delaying in such a situation is very dangerous, anything can happen to the life of those women. It is, therefore, not proper to accuse the midwives of negligence before knowing what exactly killed the patient,” he said.
Last September, seven staff members at the same hospital were interdicted over abuse of office which explains the existing staffing gap at the facility.
These included Dr Berna Nakanwagi, the hospital superintendent by then, Mr Richard Bantubalamu who was the assistant hospital administrator among others.