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Mpilo weeds out negligent staff members

by Staff reporter
13 Oct 2021 at 05:06hrs | Views
MPILO Central Hospital has taken drastic measures to weed out negligence by staff members, a development that has seen over 20 workers redeployed from the maternity ward and disciplinary hearings being instituted.

The development comes as a number of neo-natal deaths were recorded during the past weeks.

In September, a Bulawayo couple lost an unborn baby due to negligence after the woman spent over 48 hours without medical attention, a development which sparked complaints from disgruntled members of the public.

A total of 378 women died while giving birth in Zimbabwe last year and of those women, 66 died at home while 312 lost their lives at health institutions.

In the Trends in Maternal Mortality Study, the United Nations considers a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of less than 100 as low, between 100 and 299 as moderately low, and high when it is 300 to 499.

As of 2019, the country had an unacceptably high maternal mortality rate of 462 deaths per 100 000 live births, a number which is expected to have risen due to Covid-19.

Studies also show that the urban areas of Bulawayo and Harare have seen a marked increase in maternal and perinatal deaths because referral hospitals located in these cities receive some of the most critical cases from around the country, including delayed referrals.

In addition, there has been a disruption in the availability of resources and other factors beyond the control of the institutions according to the United Nations Population Fund.

In letter dated September 27 addressed to staff, Mpilo acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said the hospital was aware of the general deterioration in discipline in the hospital which had affected patients.

"This indiscipline is compromising service delivery, and putting the care and safety of patients at intolerable risks.

This memo is to remind everyone about our core values of compassion, treating all patients with dignity and acting in all reasonable manner to prevent all preventable deaths," read the letter.

In an interview, Prof Ngwenya said so far, 20 staff members had been moved from the maternity ward following complaints from members of the public recorded in the past weeks.

He said the complaints had led the administration to also conduct  disciplinary hearings and conduct investigations to curb unnecessary loss of life which has been recorded recently at Mpilo.

"The past three months we noticed that there was a deterioration in the discipline of some members of staff that is leading to loss of life.

"We also witnessed a worrying trend of unnecessary loss of life which tainted our service delivery as a public hospital," said Prof Ngwenya.

"The members of the public complained and we had to take drastic measures to reduce their pain, suffering and to ensure that no one loses their life unnecessary, especially by coming to Mpilo.

"Mpilo is strategic Government institution and it serves our population and at most it should be able to serve everyone that is why we work hard to make it a safety net for our people"

He said it was the duty of the  hospital administration to ensure that patients are safe while seeking health services.

"Those who were insensitive and failing to ensure that mothers and babies are kept safe have been redeployed while more vigilant and robust staff were taken to the maternity ward.

"This included more than 20 members of staff and we have read the riot act to our junior doctors so that they remember  to value lives in carrying out their   duties."

He apologised to members of the  public and assured them that the Mpilo team was working hard to restore normalcy.

"We have struggled to keep our maternal and child mortality rates low and we cannot let such negligent behaviours continue as they will discourage pregnant women from seeking medical attention.

"As it is we have realised that some women are coming in very late to deliver without registering and other babies are delivered before arrival which is dangerous," he added.

Source - The Chronicle