1 August 2012

Namibia: Police Probe Death in Childbirth

THE Namibian Police at Otjiwarongo are investigating the death of a young woman and an unborn baby who died during a caesarian section.

Nampa yesterday reported that Ropolie Eises (20) and her baby died in the operating theatre of the Otjiwarongo State Hospital on July 2

Peter Angara, the Otjozondjupa Region health director, yesterday said the matter was brought to his attention on the same day.

"That is a police case. The patient came in, was taken for an operation and then the patient died. Any person who dies an unnatural death must be investigated."

According to him, the woman's death certificate also states "to be investigated".

At this stage, it cannot be conclusively said that there was negligence on the part of any health worker, he said.

Nampa reported that it was discovered at the hospital that the baby was in the breech position, and it led to the decision to perform a caesarean section.

Angara said the matter was also referred to the office of the Permanent Secretary, Andrew Ndishishi, for referral to the Health Professions Council to investigate the death.

Otjozondjupa Deputy Commissioner Moses Khairabeb yesterday said once the police investigation is finalised, the docket will be forwarded to the Prosecutor General for a decision on whether someone should be prosecuted.

Cornelius Weyulu, spokesperson of the council, said he was aware of the matter, "but we haven't received a formal complaint yet."

He said the council was making headway with the investigation of the death of Juliana Kleopas, who died while she was admitted for a scheduled caesarian section in the Katutura State Hospital in May.

It was suspected that Kleopas and her unborn baby died because of negligence on the part of health workers.

Richard Kamwi, the Minister of Health and Social Services, ordered the council to investigate the case.

It is understood that the council's investigation committee will meet this weekend to deliberate on this and other matters.

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