June 28, 2013

Rubaga Doctor Grilled Over Patient’s Death

A senior consultant gynaecologist at Rubaga Hospital was on Thursday grilled by members of the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council over his role in the death of a mother and her baby early last year.
 
Judith Nansubuga, a 35 year old nursery school teacher and resident of Kajjansi in Wakiso district, died at Rubaga Hospital on March 5th due to what family members called negligence by the medical staff at the maternity ward.

More than a year since the death and after two failed attempts, the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council finally started hearing Nansubuga’s case.

Dr. Jumba Mukasa, a senior consultant gynaecologist at the hospital, found a hard time to answer questions as to why he failed to attend Judith Nansubuga prior to her death. Dr. Jumba who was facing Judith Nansubuga’s husband Michael Kayongo told the committee that he was waiting for the baby to grow.

The deceased mother’s family blamed the medical workers at Rubaga Hospital for failing to control her blood pressure leading to the loss of the unborn baby. The medical staff also looked on as the 35 year old mother bled to her death in the hospital’s private wing.

A death certificate signed by a Doctor Joseph A. indicates that 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 abortion or premature birth. PPH, on the other hand, is an emergency condition characterized by excessive bleeding after normal or cesarean delivery.

Nansubuga was admitted to Rubaga Hospital on February 18 and died on March 5, after nurses induced her to give birth four days after the baby had died in the womb.

Nakamya Nankya, a sister of the deceased then told the media that it took doctors four days to discover that the baby had died in the womb. She said maternity staff kept assuring Nansubuga that her baby was fine.

Nakamya said she demanded that her sister be referred to another hospital but Rubaga hospital midwives told her to wait for Dr. Jumba Mukasa, a consultant who was not on duty.

She explained that while the doctors had scheduled her for a caesarian operation, the nurses went ahead to induce normal delivery which further drained the then visibly weak patient.

At the Medical Council yesterday, Dr. Jumba Mukasa sweated profusely and found a difficult time answering questions from council members. Questions ranged from his involvement with the deceased to his rude response to the family after the death.

Dr. Jumba has been threatened with dismissal from medical practice for allegedly neglecting the patient to die.

Dr. Jumba was appearing before the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council at Fairway Hotel together with Dr. Kibuuka, a senior doctor at Rubaga Hospital.

Up to 16 mothers die every day while giving birth in Uganda, even though the World Health Organisation (WHO) says the country’s maternal deaths have been reducing at an annual rate of 5.1% in the past 10 years.

In a report titled “Count down to 2015: Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival” that was released a month ago in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, WHO however, pointed out that Uganda is still behind schedule in the reduction of maternal deaths which by 2010, stood at 310 per 100,000 births. This is more than twice the 150 target set by the UN Millennium Development Goals to be realized by 2015.

The report says Uganda’s maternal mortality ratio has been reducing from 600 in 1990 to 530 in 2000. The figure had further gone down to 310 by the 2010.

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