Child dies after being given medicine

by Alvine Kapitako

Windhoek

A Katutura family is devastated and mourning the death of their two-year-old child whose medication was allegedly maladministered last Friday at the Katutura state hospital.

The child, Nguundja Ndjavera, was admitted to the hospital last week on April 19 for chest complications.



During most part of his stay in the hospital, Nguundja’s medication was administered through a drip in his arm, the family says.

According to the family spokesperson and close relative Razungana Ndjavera, last Friday just before 18h00 it was again time for the boy to take his medication.

“The boy was responding well and could take his medication orally,” said Ndjavera.

However, that was not communicated to the boy’s mother who was under the impression that the medication was still being administered through his arm.

The nurse apparently gave the medicine, believed to be an antibiotic, in a syringe to the mother to give the baby but without explaining how she should administer it to her son.

Being under the impression that the medicine was being administered through the procedure that was done all along, the mother injected her son with the medicine and he reacted immediately but unfortunately his life could not be saved.

“The communication was not clear that the child’s condition had improved and the nurse did not explain how the medication should be taken,” maintained Ndjavera, who spoke in the presence of other grieving family members.

In addition, he said the nurse who was attending to another child not so far from Nguundja and his mother, upon learning about the tragedy of the dead child, grabbed him from the mother and in panic hastily rushed out of the room to the other nurses.

“The nurses left her just like that without comforting her or explaining to her what happened. She had to be comforted by fellow parents, who were with their children in hospital. As a family we are very devastated because it’s a life lost due to negligence. It’s a difficult ordeal, especially the fact that the mother is so young,” said Ndjavera.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ester Paulus, said the ministry is aware of the incident.

“An investigation was launched at Katutura hospital and the ministry will be sending the parents to a psychologist while the investigation is being conducted,” said Paulus.

Once the investigation is finalised and if the nurse is found guilty, disciplinary action would be taken, explained Paulus.

And, if the nurse is not guilty it would be explained to the child’s parents what transpired, added Paulus.

“We are awaiting post-mortem results and we will not discuss the outcome with the public but only with the parents.”

 

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