Doctor moves to court to block cancellation of license over death of patient

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A foreign doctor based in Kenya and accused of causing the death of a woman during a botched birth delivery operation three years ago has gone to court in an effort to challenge the cancellation of his practicing license.

Dr Joseph Omeonga Djemba, a Congolese national has sued the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board (KMPDB) after the board canceled his practicing license on May 26 following the unfortunate incident that happened on April 8, 2013.

Dr Djemba through his lawyer Wilfred Mutubwa, claimed that he discharged his duties diligently and professionally and that the deceased, Ms Mary Njeri Gichuru merely died as a result of sudden uterine rapture and excessive bleeding caused by circumstances beyond his control.

He has instead accused the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board for denying him a hearing on what exactly transpired on the fateful day following a complaint on negligence raised by the husband to the deceased, Mr Joshua Gichuru Gathii.

Following the board’s ruling, Fatima Maternity Hospital — a Catholic based medical institution based in Nairobi’s Ongata Rongai — which he worked for, terminated his employment.

According to the doctor, a graduate from the University of Lubumbashi, he had made recommendations that the deceased needed an emergency caesarean section operation.

But moments before the operation, the deceased became restless and also appeared shocked but was rushed to theatre.

Unfortunately, she died due to cardio pulmonary arrest while being resuscitated as soon as the operation had been finished.

Dr Djemba said that he removed a still born baby but the uterus was severely destroyed beyond repair in an effort to save the deceased’s life.

He said that he was told to compile a report of what had happened by the hospital administrator but the board relied on a factually innaccurate post mortem report done by a pathologist known to the family of the deceased alone.

He added that the board ruling was therefore tainted with procedural inconsistencies impropriety, prejudice and is therefore unlawful.

He also said that officials from public health and sanitation ministry who conducted an inspection following the death did not cite negligence on his part.

The doctor now wants the High Court to temporarily put on hold the implementation of the board’s verdict against him and the hospital.

In its ruling, the board ruled that the hospital had not put up adequate patient monitoring systems, was to compensate the family of the deceased Sh100,000 in a month’s time besides cancelling his license.

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