• September 22nd, 2019

Health clarifies itself on patient’s death


WINDHOEK – The Ministry of Health and Social Services has denied any wrongdoing in the sudden death of a patient Laimi Nandjebo who died last week at Robert Mugabe Avenue Clinic in Windhoek while awaiting treatment.

Allegations were that the deceased died due to nurses being  on lunch at the time of the incident.
However, the Ministry of Health and Social Services executive director Ben Nangombe denied these allegations, saying the records show (and the other patients who were at the clinic would testify) that two nurses were on duty attending to a patient in the emergency room who had earlier also collapsed.  
He said upon learning of the unfortunate incident, the ministry appointed a four-member committee to conduct a preliminary investigation into the circumstances of the death.  

The investigating team comprised a senior medical officer, a chief health programme officer, a nursing service manager and a control administrative officer. 

Nangombe explained that according to reports received, the late Nandjebo brought her child for immunisation at Robert Mugabe Avenue Clinic last Monday at around 11h00.  

“She was accompanied by an in-law, Emilia Hautoni. On her arrival at the clinic, she did not indicate to health personnel that she needed urgent attention nor did she show signs that could have prompted the staff to treat her as an emergency. Ms Hautoni, however, informed the doctor later that the deceased was complaining of chest pains since the morning,” Nangombe stated.

Nandjebo then apparently alerted the security guard on duty that she was not feeling well and needed to see a nurse urgently.  

Nangombe said she was moved to the front of the line in order to be attended to, as soon as the nurse, who was already busy in the consultation room with another patient, finished.  

He noted that shortly thereafter, at around 13h15, the patient collapsed and was taken to the emergency room where she was attended to by the doctor on duty and three nurses.  

Further, he mentioned that all possible attempts to resuscitate her regrettably and unfortunately failed. 
 Subsequently, a post-mortem was conducted. Nangombe said it revealed the patient had a pre-existing life-threatening medical condition, which precipitated the sudden death.  

The ministry is not at liberty to disclose the medical condition to the public as it is protected by patient-health care provider confidentiality. 

He said the public should take note that it is ministerial policy that where there are more than one nurse in any clinic, lunch hours should be taken at different intervals so that there is always a nurse(s) on duty to attend to patients throughout all opening hours. 

At this stage, Nangombe added, internal investigations indicate that the health personnel on duty acted to the best of their abilities and in the best interest of the patient under the prevailing circumstances.  
“Upon hearing of the patient’s plea, she was moved to the front of the queue in order to receive priority care.  Staff were deployed to take care of the patient after she collapsed and efforts were made to resuscitate her through all available emergency procedures,” he pointed out. 

 He said the health ministry extends its sincerest condolences to the bereaved family, especially the children of the late Nandjebo. 

“It is never easy losing a mother or any loved one for that matter and our health workers also feel the pain when they are faced with unavoidable loss of life.  We wish everybody strength during this difficult time. May her soul rest in peace.”  


Albertina Nakale
2019-08-27 07:06:33 26 days ago

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