Dar es Salaam — The government on Monday September 9 said it would investigate and possibly take action against medics at Mwananyamala Hospital after a woman claimed that her baby's palm was amputated due to negligence.
Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Minister Ms Ummy Mwalimu told The Citizen that no letter had been officially submitted to the government over the claims.
On Sunday, September 8, a video clip went viral on social media depicting Ms Yvona Gabriel, complaining that her five year old baby had been amputated out of the negligence of medical staff at Mwananyamala Hospital.
"I have no report or letter submitted to me over the issue but I will work on it and take action once claims are confirmed," said the Minister when contacted by The Citizen.
The baby was apparently diagnosed with fever on the 10th day when she was taken at the hospital, the mother claims. Doctors prescribed 14 injections.
The mother recalls that her baby, "... was admitted after a decision had been made that injection would be provided through a cannula. She received the first injection on May 31, 2019 but to my surprise the baby cried a lot."
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"I was worried. My baby was crying persistently. I consulted nurses. They advised that I breastfeed the baby adequately. But she kept crying even after breastfeeding her."
"Nurses too got worried. A nurse who took an evening session arrived and discovered that fingers and the baby's palm had turned dark."
"The nurse suggested that it was because of the cannular. She directed me to place my baby's hand at the armpit, but that didn't work. The baby's health kept deteriorating."
"When I approached a certain doctor, he told me I shouldn't teach him how to do his job."
However, she says, a doctor who attended to the baby on the following day referred her to the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) when it was decided that the baby's palm had to be amputated.
"When I pressed to get a medical report, I was told that the cannula had been wrongly placed on the baby's joints instead of the veins," she said.
The Mwananyamala Regional Referral Hospital chief medic, Mr Daniel Mkungu refuted claims from the woman, saying negligence had no place in the facility.
"The patient was regularly attended considering the fact that the Children Ward had a doctor and nurse on duty all the time. Professionally, we haven't also established how the cannula could have caused such problem," he said.
The woman, Ms Gabriel, said her family had already written to the Ministry of Health and were awaiting a response.