Senior Health Reporter
Government is investigating the conduct of a prominent gynaecologist who performed a surgical operation which claimed the life of the oral health director in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Mandy Sibanda, last month.
Dr Sibanda is one of many victims in cases involving the same gynaecologist (name withheld) who also stands accused of wrongly discharging her duties.
Although the Medicines and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ) could not confirm nor deny working on the matter, Ministry of Health and Child Care, family health director Dr Bernard Madzima confirmed they were ceased with the matter.
The Family Health Department is responsible for maternal health among other issues.
Dr Madzima said the Ministry received a post-mortem report and has since handed it over to a team of experts, which will give a position regarding the death of Dr Sibanda.
“We are now doing an audit, which is an independent assessment by a team of experts.
“The experts are expected to provide answers relating to the direct cause of death, contributory factors and any delay that could have taken place,” said Dr Madzima.
He said they will also look at whether the death was avoidable or not and actions that can be put in place to avoid future deaths.
MDPCZ had not responded to emailed questions by end of day yesterday regarding the gynaecologist’s conduct, but inside sources claim that Dr Sibanda experienced complications a few days after giving birth.
The gynaecologist is reported to have accidentally perforated the late Dr Sibanda’s colon during a caesarean section.
“We understand that her colon was perforated during a caesarean section, but the gynaecologist did not realise it. She then went on to suture her resulting in the patient developing sepsis inside her stomach. She then died from sepsis, a few days after giving birth while she was still in the hospital,” said the source.
Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection.
Dr Sibanda was born on May 24, 1978 and attended primary and secondary school at Dominican Convent in Bulawayo. She completed studies in biochemistry, dental surgery and a Master of Public Health. Apart from her Government position in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Sibanda was also a part-time lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe in the dentistry department.
Another Harare woman who lost her unborn baby after she allegedly got a prescription for “unsuitable medication” from the same gynaecologist said: “I had a minor headache and she gave me an overdose of Zinnat tablets. I immediately started having contractions soon after taking them leading to a miscarriage.
“When I told another gynaecologist of what had happened, she shook her head in disbelief saying Zinnat must never be given to a pregnant woman.”
The woman who did not report the incident said she was keen to officially lodge a complaint against the gynaecologist.
Many other women have either died or lost their unborn babies due to negligence by the healthcare providers resulting in high maternal mortality rates in the country.
According to the latest Demographic Health Survery, Zimbabwe’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) currently stands at 614 deaths per 100,000 live births.