MHEN condemns negligence that led to death of mother, baby

Malawi nurses

Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) has condemned the unethical behaviour of a clinical officer at Thyolo District which led to the death of a mother and her unborn baby.

This is according to a press statement signed by MHEN chairperson Edward Chileka Banda and executive director George Jobe.

Malawi nurses
MHEN blames clinical officers for the death of mother,baby.(File)

Reports indicate that on Saturday afternoon, Mphatso Phiri, 18, who was pregnant was referred to Thyolo District Hospital from Mikolongwe Health Centre as her first pregnancy was due.

It is reported that a clinical officer on call was called right away.

However, he delayed to get to the hospital and only started attending to Mphatso at around 3 am on Sunday, 27th August.

At that time, the unborn baby seemed to have died three hours earlier (around mid-night).

Some sources say the clinician was drunk and when he was conducting a caesarean section on the woman he was dozing.

The situation forced the hospital to call another clinical officer to take over the procedure but sadly the mother had also died by the time the second clinician arrived.

“We condemn the incident. We ask the Government and the Medical Council of Malawi to take action on this irresponsible clinical officer as well as on Thyolo District Hospital. The clinical officer must be punished according to regulations.

“We wish his license were confiscated so that he should never be allowed to practice again in Malawi. The District Health Office (DHO) for Thyolo should have a system that deters a drunken person from handling patients,” reads part of the statement from MHEN.

The organisations also wants government to compensate the deceased family because of the loss of the lives which have resulted from gross negligence.

In a related issue, the health rights organisation has called on authorities to ensure that the staff strike at Karonga District Hospital is resolved with utmost speed claiming the ultimate victim of the strike is a patient.

MHEN says some patients in the district cannot afford to go to private hospitals hence the closure of the hospital is subjecting them to incapacitation or death.

“Whatever reasons that are there, we ask the authority to ensure that the strike is addressed the soonest. The issues raised by the staff members in the petition border on quality, which management should address as quickly as possible,” says the statement.

Junior workers at Karonga hospital are striking to force authorities to transfer five administrative staff.

MHEN has pleaded with the striking staff that, despite authenticity of the issues they want addressed, dialogue should be given prominence so that people of Karonga are not robbed of their right to health service provision.