Doctor blamed for newborn’s death, ordered to pay $8k
A Bulawayo medical doctor, sued for negligently causing the death of a newborn baby, has been ordered to pay the deceased’s family $8 000.
According to court papers, the newborn baby suffered complications at birth at Marondera Polyclinic in Mzilikazi suburb and was later rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital in an unregistered pirate taxi as Dr Arnold Nyamande’s surgery did not have enough oxygen.
Bulawayo magistrate Ms Nyaradzo Ringisai, in a default judgment ordered Dr Nyamande to pay the family a total of $8 000 for the loss of life caused by his negligence.
The default judgment came after the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe had found Dr Nyamande guilty of unethical conduct in connection with the newborn baby’s death.
Hospital records attached to court papers show that the baby was admitted to the neo-natal intensive unit at Mpilo Central Hospital due to severe birth asphyxia.
According to summons, on February 14, last year, the late baby’s father, Mr Champion Kudiwa took his expecting wife Esther Shamiso Kudiwa to Dr Nyamande’s surgery to deliver.
“The baby was delivered but developed severe complications due to unethical practice by the defendant who on realising his errors referred my wife and newborn baby to Mpilo Hospital in an unregistered pirate taxi instead of an ambulance equipped with critical pre-hospital care equipment,” reads the summons.
Mr Kudiwa said the clinic did not have oxygen on that particular day which caused serious distress to the baby leading to severe complications.
“Defendant earlier on refused plaintiff to witness birth of his baby son as encouraged by the Government of Zimbabwe in an apparent attempt to cover up his shortcomings and unethical conduct. Due to poor handling as referred above the baby passed away on March 2, 2016,” read court papers.
“In March 2016, Mr Kudiwa complained to the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe about defendant’s negligence which resulted in the death of the plaintiff’s son.”
Mr Kudiwa who was a self-actor in the matter said at a disciplinary hearing held on November 10, 2017, the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe found Dr Nyamande guilty of unethical conduct.
According to the council, a penalty, though not stated was imposed on Dr Nyamande.
“As a result of defendant’s unethical conduct plaintiff suffered costs of $8 000 in medical expenses including traditional cleansing ceremonies as required by his culture and traditions.
“Despite demand, defendant has failed or neglected or refused to pay plaintiff expenses incurred,” said Mr Kudiwa in the papers.
Dr Nyamande is set to lose property as the court on February 1 issued a warrant of execution against his property as he has failed to pay the $8 000 claim.