A woman identified as Doreen Akoth is suing International Hospital Kampala-IHK for negligence during a surgical procedure that has had lasting effects on her body and lifestyle.
Akoth visited International Hospital Kampala for delivery on October 28, 2017, after antenatal visits to Bethesda Hospital in Soroti and St. Anthony Hospital in Tororo.
However, she explains that the episiotomy that was conducted on her during childbirth and the stitching process that followed was wrongly done. The episiotomy is a surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth, to aid a difficult delivery and prevent rupture of tissues.
But Akoth narrates that during the process, a previous third-degree tear was injured. She adds that her rectum was sealed in the stitching leaving her in untold pain, whenever she visits the toilet. She also faults the midwife for rushing to break the amniotic sac at 6 cm instead of the recommended 9cm. The sac was broken after two days in Labour.
The amniotic sac is broken to start labour contractions or make them stronger of the cervix is dilated and when the baby’s head is deep in the pelvis. Usually, a thin plastic hook is used to make a small opening in the amniotic sac and cause the water to break.
Akoth, however, says that in her case, proper medical procedures were not followed. She says no Doctor attended to her during her stay in Hospital, even after delivering a baby on October 30, 2017.
According to her petition submitted to the Civil Division of the High Court of Uganda, she sought further treatment at Tororo Main Hospital, two weeks after she was discharged from IHK. At the time of the visit to Tororo Hospital, Akoth says, she had severe pain in her pelvic area.
She adds that medical tests conducted afterwards indicated that she had developed sepsis, as a result of cotton wool that stuffed into her body to control bleeding, and left inside. She also had an atonic bladder-implying that her muscles could no longer contract, making it hard for her to control the passage of urine.
Akoth says she was later referred to Victoria Hospital before she moved to Case Clinic for specialist’s treatment. Through her lawyer, Erias Lukwago, Akoth says that the several medical interventions that she has undergone since childbirth have affected her sexual impulse, practically putting her marriage on the brink of collapsing. She adds that she now has to endure long term medication for her rectum to function.
Akoth now wants IHK to pay her 10 million Shillings incurred for treatment, 3.4 million Shillings for accommodation and feeding and 2.5 million Shillings for transport incurred during her struggle to seek treatment.
Dr Michael Oling the Director of Medical Services at IHK says that the hospital has received the suit. “We received the suit and are yet to respond to it. We are looking into it.”
Akoth’s suit comes as IHK awaits to hear judgement from the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council regarding claims of negligence on the hospital’s part that might have led to the death of former WBS journalist Nulait Nambaziira who passed away in 2018.