Test inconclusive over dog bite victim

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Selma Ikela

Windhoek-Tests on the vial with which a three-year-old girl was treated at Katutura Hospital following a dog bite in Shandumbala earlier this year showed no signs of toxicity or disease, the Ministry of Health and Social Services has revealed.

Mweneni Du Plessis was taken to hospital in March, where she was given an injection against rabies, but died shortly afterwards. Her father, Matheus Nekwiyu, at the time told New Era that his daughter was not sick, nor was she taking medication at the time. The Du Plessis family is now seeking answers about the cause of their child’s death.

Following the sudden death of Mweneni, Minister of Health Dr Bernard Hausiku said the remainder of the batch of vaccine used to inject her had been sent for toxicology analysis.
Health Ministry spokesperson Ester Paulus this week said the ministry had received some of the results on the open vial for the Tetanus Toxoid, from which the patient received the vaccination.

“The result from South African laboratory showed no signs of ill health or toxicity. The ministry is waiting for more results to be made available in order to make a final conclusion,” Paulus said.

Contacted for comment, Nekwiyu said he was instructed by his lawyer not to speak to the media. However, he mentioned that the Health Ministry had not yet contacted them regarding the results of the tests.

Mweneni, who was affectionately known at home as ‘Skapie’ (little lamb), was attacked by a dog and bitten below her ankle while in the company of her aunt, Estella Shimoneni, as they walked along Hans Dietrich Genscher Street in Shandumbala in March.

Shimonei soon after took the child to Katutura Hospital, where a doctor recommended that the child be injected against rabies. The two (Shimoneni and Du Plessis) then proceeded to a student nurse, who reportedly injected the little girl once on both upper arms.

Shimoneni said the student nurse was not under any supervision at the time. Shimoneni and Du Plessis then left the hospital and went home, but soon after arriving there, the little girl started to show signs of being unwell and had problems breathing.

The aunt hurried the child back to hospital, where she tragically died.

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