Ministry finally settles negligence claim

28 February 2019 | Health

The health ministry yesterday paid compensation of half a million dollars to a woman who had sued the Katutura state hospital for the death of her child.

The N$500 000 payment formed part of a settlement agreement reached with the ministry in April 2018, more than a year after Laimi Iipinge (40) had sued the ministry for N$6 million. She later reduced her claim to N$2 million.

The claim stemmed from the death of Iipinge's 15-month-old son, Panduleni Pejavelli Nangolo.

The ministry's payment came several months after it had been due.

In January, attorney-general Albert Kawana was informed of the delay in payment by the government attorney handling the case on behalf of the ministry.

“Numerous court orders have been issued by the court to the client to explain in person to the court why the payment has not been made, but to the dismay of the court the client has not complied,” Kawana was informed.

The ministry's executive director, Ben Nangombe, appeared before court on Monday to explain the delay. The payment was made yesterday, Namibian Sun was informed.

The agreement had been reached following a successful mediation process before the case went to trial in February 2018.

Initially, the health ministry had indicated it would defend the action and deny any wrongdoing.

Too late

Iipinge initially sued the ministry for N$6 million in late 2016, but reduced the claim to N$2 million nine months later, when her son died.

Her baby had sustained brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen during labour and was experiencing serious developmental issues, which she claimed was the direct result of medical negligence.

An official report by the ministry of health and social services, compiled by a consultant neurologist at the Windhoek central hospital, stated that Nangolo Panduleni was delivered after a prolonged labour and that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.

The document stated that the baby had to be repeatedly resuscitated for about an hour after delivery. He was diagnosed with severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which caused developmental problems, epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

During his short life, he was unable to sit, crawl or turn without assistance, and suffered from speech, sight and hearing defects.

Many, if not all, of these health conditions would likely have persisted for the rest of his life.

Iipinge's legal team, headed by lawyer Happie Ntelamo-Matswetu, argued that the claim of N$2 million was based on the medical negligence and incompetence that caused the baby's injuries.

Shortly after Iipinge was admitted to the maternity ward at the Katutura state hospital in December 2015, she was informed that it was “a very slow labour”.

She claimed that she was put on an intravenous drip to help with the contractions, but after that very little attention was paid to her.

“This tragic state of neglect persisted through to the time Iipinge began pushing and was thus giving birth,” her particulars of claim stated. Although she screamed and shouted for assistance, none of the medical staff on duty assisted her, she claimed.

Two hours later, a doctor who happened to pass by heard her cries and rushed to assist her.

After the birth of her son, she immediately noticed he was unwell. She was informed that he had suffered brain damage due to a lack of oxygen and would suffer from severe disability.

Iipinge submitted a doctor's review of the delivery as part of her lawsuit, which supported her claim that no specialists had been called to assist and that she and her baby had not been sufficiently monitored.

The doctor's opinion was that if the baby had been delivered promptly by caesarean section, he would have been healthy.


Similar News


ACC probes exam 'cheating'

11 hours ago | Health

The Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA) has roped in the services of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate allegations that cheating had rocked the...

Hepatitis deaths slow down

2 weeks ago - 04 October 2019 | Health

The ongoing hepatitis E outbreak has not claimed any further lives over the past two months, with the fatality rate remaining at 55 since August....

Increasing the volume

3 weeks ago - 01 October 2019 | Health

Ester KamatiThe Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) public relations campaigns and special events class, along with Student Representative Council (SRC) and Nust clinic,...

Clear vision for all

3 weeks ago - 27 September 2019 | Health

Michelline NawatisesSanlam, together with its project partner Shaetonhodi Optometrist, recently launched the third edition of a programme known as the Sanlam Vision for Change Project....

Hepatitis torrent

4 weeks ago - 25 September 2019 | Health

The relentless tide of hepatitis E that struck residents in poverty-stricken informal settlements near the end of 2017 has seen a 17 000% increase in...

Health fast-tracks thousands of posts

4 weeks ago - 25 September 2019 | Health

The health ministry is gearing up to employ more than 4 000 extra people to address the chronic staff shortages at hospitals and clinics across...

N$62m hospital project stands idle

4 weeks ago - 24 September 2019 | Health

Government and a contactor are in talks about unfinished upgrades at the Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital, after a tender was awarded in 2015. The N$62...

Isolation ward for Oshakati

1 month - 23 September 2019 | Health

The construction of an isolation or quarantine ward is currently underway at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital, following a highly contagious Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) outbreak...

Specialising in skin

1 month - 20 September 2019 | Health

Dr Elisah Agaba is a consultant dermatologist at the Ongwediva Medipark university teaching hospital.He is also a senior adjunct lecturer of dermatology at the University...

Oshakati hospital rundown, understaffed

1 month - 19 September 2019 | Health

The 750-bed Oshakati Intermediary Hospital, which serves close to a million patients a year, is operating without a paediatrician, neonatologist, neurosurgeon, dietician, clinical psychologist and...

Latest News

Drownings sour rain relief

11 hours ago | Accidents

Life-giving rainfall in the north has led to two schoolboys drowning in Oshana on Monday. A Chinese national also drowned on Sunday at the Olushandja/Etaka...

Upbeat Calle preaches recovery

11 hours ago | Economics

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein says the domestic economy is projected to gradually emerge from the recession in 2020 with a moderate growth rate of about...

Shanghala plays the artful dodger

11 hours ago | Politics

CATHERINE SASMAN Justice minister Sacky Shanghala, who is alleged to have booked out electronic voting machines (EVMs) that have been missing since...

The value of relevance

11 hours ago | Business

Chantell Husselmann - The conceptual framework for financial reporting states, in order for information to be useful it must both be relevant and provide a...

ACC probes exam 'cheating'

11 hours ago | Health

The Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA) has roped in the services of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate allegations that cheating had rocked the...

O&L/Dinapama deal commendable

11 hours ago | Columns

The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group recently procured casual corporate golf shirts for its 6 000 employees from local manufacturer Dinapama. This is no ordinary...

Stable Botswana to vote in...

11 hours ago | Economics

Susan Njanji - Botswana votes today in the most closely fought general election in the history of the Southern African country, long known as...

Geingob off to Sochi

11 hours ago | International

President Hage Geingob has left for Russia to attend the first session of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi tomorrow.The summit is expected to be attended...

Life for plotting husband's murder

11 hours ago | Justice

Rachel Rittmann (49), who arranged the murder of her husband Rudolph Rittmann (34) for financial gain and freedom to continue a love affair, was sentenced...

Load More