The Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council has started hearing a case in which a 35 year old mother and her unborn baby died in Rubaga hospital a year ago.
Judith Nansubuga died on March 5 last year, after two weeks as an in-patient with high blood pressure in the martenity ward.
According to a death certificate signed by Dr. Joseph Ahimbisibwe, Nansubuga died of severe Pre-Eclampsia Toxaemia (PET) and primary postpartum haemorrhage (PPH).
PET is a condition in which high blood pressure and fluid retention prevents normal growth of the unborn baby forcing premature birth. PPH, on the other hand, is an emergency condition characterized by excessive bleeding after normal or cesarean birth.
The Medical Council, which exists to protect society from abuse of medical and dental practice and promote ethical standards amongst health professionals, recieved complaints from the family the same week of Judith Nansubuga’s burial in Kajjansi along Entebbe road. It has however taken a year for the council to convene hearings from the family and Rubaga Hospital admnistration.
Testifying before the council at Fairway Hotel in Kampala, the deceased’s husband Michael Kayongo, a printer from Nasser Road in Kampala, narrated how his wife had died during induced labour to remove a fetus that had been dead for two days.
Kayongo said his wife was not receiving medical attention and attempts to get her referred were not heeded by doctors and nurses who kept referring to Dr Jumba Mukasa.
Kayongo told the Council chaired by Dr. Joel Okullo that he received a rude response from Dr. Jumba Mukasa when he tried to inquire about his wife’s condition.
Dr. Jumba Mukasa, who is a Senior Consultant at Rubaga hospital Maternity Ward and Dr. Peter Kibuuka, the Acting Medical Director at the hospital, attended the council hearing.
Phylister Nakamya,a sister to the deceased who was her caretaker also gave her testimony. She narrated that senior doctors like Dr Jumba left a serious case of Nansubuga to be handled by low level staff. In her chronology of events Nakamya says there were no medical doctors on duty or on call when her sister was fighting for her life due to severe bleeding after induced into labour.
According to her, Dr Jumba had left the ward with full knowledge of Nansubuga’s condition. Nakamya told the Council that medical help came too late.
She said that in subsequent meetings with the Rubaga Hospital management, Dr Jumba Mukasa showed no remorse and maintained that he had done nothing wrong. The family pleaded that the avoidable death of expectant mothers at Rubaga hospital should end with Nansubuga.
The Medical Dental and Practitioners Council hearings are guided by lawyer John Bosco Suuza who wanted to know how the doctors or nurses responded during the time Nansubuga was admitted at Rubaga.
The council promised to convene another meeting to give Rubaga Hospital a chance to respond to the accusations raised by the deceased’s family.
The chairman, Dr. Joel Okullo, observed that Nansubuga has been dead for one year and wants to know what the hospital has changed at the maternity ward to ensure no other mother dies.
Rubaga Hospital responded to the family complaint to the council in writing.