Man sues Omuthiya hospital for botched procedure

By Maria Kandjungu

AN Omuthiya man has lodged a N$100 000 negligence lawsuit against the Omuthiya district hospital after a doctor who attended to his wound left a knife blade stitched inside in his arm.

According to Victory Nepela who is suing the hospital together with the health ministry for N$100 000 in loss and damages, the doctor and the nurses who briefly attended to him when he was brought to the hospital with a stab wound did not do a thorough check but merely stitched his wound before discharging him the same day of November 28 2018.

In court documents filed in the Oshakati High Court, by his lawyers, Nepela stated that a day after the wound was stitched; he went back to the hospital complaining of excruciating pain and inability to move his arm but was allegedly chased away by health personnel without getting any assistance or seeing the doctor.

Confidente understands that thereafter Nepela went back to the hospital for a period of five days between 30 November and December 4 complaining about debilitating pain in his arm and pleaded with the nurses to ask the doctor to see him but was refused further medical assistance and was told to go home.

Consequently, the blade stayed in his arm for at least two weeks and the agony in his arm continued and after realising that he would not get any help at Omuthiya hospital, Nepela travelled about 82km to seek further medical assistance from the Onandjokwe District Hospital where the blade was discovered and removed by another doctor. This is despite Omuthiya hospital being less than 10km from Okashana where he resides.

“I could no longer stand the physical agony the arm brought upon me and as such, I approached the Onandjokwe District Hospital for assistance as it was refused to me by the personnel at Omuthiya District Hospital who initially attended to the stab wound on 28 November 2018,” stated Nepela.

He further stated in court documents that although he does not remember the staff who continuously sent him away at Omuthiya hospital, he was initially attended to by a doctor, one Dilubenzi who, allegedly, knew that Nepela had been stabbed, but merely stitched the arm without removing the blade or properly checking to ensure that there were no foreign objects in the wound.

He noted to the court that as a result of the misconduct and negligence by the medical practitioners, he suffered and continues to suffer “ongoing mental and emotional anguish, shock and trauma”.

“As a result of the incident, I endured and continue to endure physical pain especially when it is cloudy. I was subjected to torture and to cruel inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment [by health personnel at Omuthiya hospital],” he stated in the court documents.