Group petitions Yendi hospital to investigate death of patient

A group calling itself Concerned Youth of Yendi has petitioned management of the Yendi Government Hospital to investigate circumstances that led to the death of a patient at the hospital.

The group in a letter addressed to the management and sighted by Citi News is demanding sanctions against the health institution’s medical staff whose supposed reprehensible conduct led to the death of the patient, Abena Nankola.

It is alleged that there was no physician at post when Abena Nankola was brought to the emergency unit of the hospital at 1:30 am on March 18, 2021.

They claimed that several efforts by a nurse on duty to get the physician to return to the health facility to attend to the emergency situation proved futile.

“At 2:25 am on the same day, late Abena Nankola was among a number of patients who were waiting at the Emergency Ward to seek health care but there was no Consultant to attend to her. As critical as her case was, the only nurse on duty was spotted making calls to the consultant who promised to come but failed to show up despite follow-up calls. After some time, the consultant on duty was no longer answering the calls of the helpless nurse.”

“All this while, late Abena Nankola struggled to breathe, but nothing could be done about her situation since the Consultant was unavailable and will no longer answer the numerous calls placed by the nurse on duty.”

The letter narrated that the condition of Abena Nankola worsened to the extent that “she had her last breath at around 9:30 am”.

The group is therefore demanding that management of the hospital immediately probes the issue and compensate the family accordingly.

The group claimed in the letter that, Abena would have been alive if the physician had attended to her.

“It would have been acceptable if the poor little girl had died whilst receiving the needed medical care, but for her to die in the circumstance we had, it is most unfortunate on the part of the scheduled staff and the leadership of the hospital,” the group said in the letter. Below is the full statement

REQUEST FOR PROBE INTO THE DEATH OF ABENA NANKOLA DUE TO MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE

The Concerned Citizens write this petition on behalf of the family of late Abena Nankola of Kpachani in the Yendi Municipality who are our members and have given us their express consent and authority.

We write to bring to the attention of the hospital the bizarre and unprofessional circumstances that led to the death of late Abena Nankola on Thursday, the 18th of March 2021 at around 9:30am.

Brief Facts of the Matter

On Thursday, the 18th of March 2021 between 1:30 am to 10:00 am, there was no Physician Assistant (Consultant) at the Emergency Ward of the hospital to attend to emergency cases that were brought during the period. The only nurse on duty at the ward was one Mr. Alhassan. The Physician Assistant on duty who has been identified as one Mr. Ibrahim Halilu was not at post.

At 2:25 am of the same day, late Abena Nankola was among a number of patients who were waiting at the Emergency Ward to seek health care but there was no Consultant to attend to her. As critical as her case was, the only nurse on duty was spotted making calls to the Consultant who promised to come, but failed to show up despite follow-up calls. After some time, the Consultant on duty was no longer answering the calls of the helpless nurse.

All this while, late Abena Nankola struggled to breathe, but nothing could be done about her situation since the Consultant was unavailable and will no longer answer the numerous calls placed by the nurse on duty.

In fact, there were other out-patients with critical conditions which required the services of the physician, who failed to respond to the call to duty. The nurse on duty tried to manage the situation, but could not remedy her situation and that of other patients.

The bizarre, hopeless, unprofessional and unfortunate situation continued till daybreak. It continued up to about 9:30 am and there was still no physician to attend to these cases including the late Abena Nankola.

The condition of late Abena Nankola became so deteriorated that she had her last breath at around 9:30 am – SAD AND UNFORTUNATE! This was certainly an avoidable situation.

It would have been acceptable if the poor little girl had died whilst receiving the needed medical care, but for her to die in the circumstance we had, it is most unfortunate on the part of the scheduled staff and the leadership of the hospital.

It has gone to confirm the numerous uninvestigated cases of medical negligence and malpractices in the hospital, and eroded the little trust the community has in the hospital. The facility is a referral centre for almost all the districts along the Eastern Corridor of the Northern Region. It is therefore a serious concern for us if things of this nature continue to happen.

Our Position of the Practice

It is our position that, the refusal, neglect and/or failure of Mr. Ibrahim Halilu (Officer on duty) to attend to the vulnerable patient (Late Abena Nankola) and other patients, his absence from work at the said time, and the gross unprofessional conduct constitute a ‘misconduct’ under Chapter 4, Section 4.1 (a) and (e); and Section 4.2 (b), (o) and (q) of the Ghana Health Service Code of Conducts and Disciplinary Procedure, July 2018.

Further, the action(s) and/or inaction(s), refusal, neglect, and/or failure of Mr. Ibrahim Halilu to attend to the poor Abena Nankola and other patients, and his absence on duty at the time constitute a ‘major offence’ under Chapter 8, Section 8.3 (xiv), (xv) and (xx) and are punishable under Section 8.4 of the Ghana Health Service Code of Conducts and Disciplinary Procedure, July 2018.

Though death is natural, it is our considered view that the conduct of the staff and the hospital contributed to the death of the poor Abena Nankola, as such, the family of the victim deserve compensation for the unrepairable loss suffered by them.

Our demand

We are by this Petition:

(1)requesting the leadership of the hospital and the Municipal Health Directorate to, as a matter of urgency, commission an investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of late Abena Nankola on the 18th of March, 2021 and the refusal and/or failure of the physician on duty (Mr Ibrahim Halilu) to attend to patients at the emergency ward.

(2)requesting the leadership of the hospital and the municipal health directorate to implement the appropriate penalty against all staff who are found guilty of misconduct or offence relating to the subject matter herein.

(3)requesting the hospital and the health directorate to provide sufficient compensation to the family of the victim (late Abena Nankola).

(4)requesting the leadership of the hospital, the municipal health directorate and the municipal assembly to put adequate measures in place to forestall future occurrences of such unfortunate situations.

Conclusion

The leadership of the Concerned Citizens and the family of late Abena Nankola are very well-prepared to provide the needed assistance to pursue this matter to its finality. If no concrete action is seen or felt out of this petition, our group and the family shall advise ourselves on the next line of action.

—citinewsroom

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