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Boy, 9, amputated due to hospital negligence

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The Ministry of Health and Population Services will investigate allegations of negligence which led to the arm amputation of a nine-year-old child at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), Principal Secretary Dan Namarika said over the weekend.

The child was pushed by his friends while watching a movie at Chilinde One on Good Friday, April 1.

He sustained serious fractures to the arm and was immediately taken to KCH for medical attention.

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The father of the child, Yoyolani Kapingasa, said the only assistance they got from the hospital was that medical practitioners wrapped the child’s hand with a bandage.

“After tying his hand, they told us to go home and return on April 7 2018. They said orthopaedic surgeons were on leave and that, therefore, my child could not be assisted,” Kapingasa said in an exclusive interview on the child’s hospital bed.

“Of course, the boy was in great pain, but I relied on professional advice to go back home,” he added.

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But Kapingasa said the situation got worse and the arm started producing a bad smell. This prompted the family to take the boy back to the hospital on Wednesday, two days earlier than instructed by the medical officers.

At the hospital, the family was reportedly told that the hand had rotten [gangrene] and the only solution was to amputate it.

“Ironically, the medical officers maintained that there was no one to operate on, or amputate, the hand of my child. So, we had to wait until Friday [April 13] when they finally amputated the hand. Honestly, I can’t believe it. I am very devastated because I believe this is a classic example of professional negligence,” the father said.

The development angered Namarika, who vowed to personally investigate the matter and ensure that those responsible account for their failures.

“What? I cannot believe it. Please, can you find out the identities of the child? I want to follow it [the case] up myself,” he said.

The Kapingasa family has since sought legal advice from human and health rights organisations to enable it get compensation from KCH.

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