By A Correspondent- Authorities at the state-run Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals have landed themselves in trouble after a newly born baby had her leg amputated less than one month after being born.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights reported that Tiny Masvaure, she ended up staying at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals for more than three months in an isolated ward after her baby now aged one year and four months-old, had her leg amputated on 19 January 2021 because the leg had been infected.
“According to Masvaure, when she gave birth to her baby on 23 December 2020 at Mbuya Nehanda Maternity Hospital, which is housed at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, she was told that there were no complications with the baby besides her being slightly under weight and she was advised that though she was a premature baby, she was healthy and the hospital wanted the baby to get up to 1.6kgs from her birth weight of 1.535 kgs before she gets discharged from hospital,” ZLHR said.
“The minor’s mother was further advised by the hospital authorities that her child would be placed on anti-biotic to prevent infections and she checked with the hospital whether the baby had infections to necessitate the administration of the antibiotic but she was informed that it was just a precautionary measure considering that she was a premature baby.
Masvaure says a cannula was then inserted on her baby’s hand and after two days she noticed that the baby’s hand was swelling and she proceeded to inform the nursing sisters who at first resisted her but after she insisted that her baby’s hand was swelling, the cannula was removed and pus was coming out from where the cannula had been sighted.
On 8 January 2021, the cannula was re-sighted onto the child’s leg and again after some hours, Masvaure realised that the baby’s leg was getting swollen and she immediately alerted the nursing staff who dismissed her as a troublesome parent and told her that it was normal for the leg to swell. The swelling continued with the baby’s leg changing colour and getting cold as compared to the other leg.
Masvaure did not relent on alerting the hospital staff who ignored her despite the baby crying continuously and appearing very uncomfortable.
An aggrieved Masvaure has now engaged Paidamoyo Saurombe of ZLHR, who recently wrote a letter of complaint to Parirenyatwa Groups of Hospitals and to the Ministry of Health and Child Care protesting and arguing that the unfortunate neglect and abuse of the baby by the hospital staff despite the protestations of the mother, had led to the minor’s leg being amputated.
Saurombe stated that authorities at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals made verbal admissions to Masvaure about the negligence and dereliction that had resulted in the baby being amputated and some overtures were also made to remedy the minor’s unfortunate situation.
However, no record has been provided to Masvaure despite her consistent demands that she be provided with hospital records. Instead, Masvaure consistently receives notifications of payments that she should make to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals for the treatment her baby received from the medical facility.
Masvaure’s baby is now over a year-old and now that she is attempting to walk and stand and without one leg, she faces the grave danger of injuring her spine which will worsen her situation and confine her into a wheel chair for life.
Although Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals promised to provide a prosthetic leg when the baby was nine months-old, the promises have all but been empty.
Upon further medical advice Masvaure has also since been told that the amputation was not done procedurally as the baby would need constant operations as she grows up because of the bone that will be growing.
Saurombe asked Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals to provide Masvaure with all hospital records regarding her baby, all minutes on the investigations conducted on how the minor came to be amputated, provide a prosthetic leg for the baby and a comprehensive compensation plan for past and future medical expenses incurred and to be borne by the minor.
The human rights lawyer argued that according to Section 62 of the Constitution, which provides for access to information, Masvaure is entitled to be furnished with the requested information. In addition, Saurombe said Section 19(2)(c) of the Constitution obliges State authorities to protect children from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse.
He said failure to positively respond to Masvaure’s demands will leave him with no option but to employ legal measures to obtain the requested medical records