Forced to apologise

Woman paraded through  Walvis Bay state hospital and forced to apologise for sharing her ordeal with namib times.

Eileen van der Schyff


The woman, who alleges she has been receiving treatment for a septic operation wound without being administered an anaesthetic at the Walvis Bay state hospital, was paraded through the hospital this week by the Acting Regional Director of the Erongo Regional Health Directorate, Dr. Amir Shaker, and forced to apologise to hospital staff seemingly for talking to namib times over her painful ordeal. Dr. Shaker denies this allegation.
The woman received a cesarean cut at the Rehoboth state hospital several weeks ago. Her baby that was born by the cesarean unfortunately died twenty eight days later.
She lost her confidence in the state medical care at Rehoboth and traveled to Walvis Bay with the hope of receiving better treatment, as she was noticing that her operation wound was becoming septic. She turned to the Walvis Bay state hospital for treatment.
She told the newspaper the wound was opened and treated without her being administered an anaesthetic. She became hysterical from pain, but the doctor who treated her arrogantly replied: “Don’t be such a sissy”. She was given a Panado for the pain.
When the doctor gave the work over to a nurse to complete, the woman became so hysterical that the nurse stopped cleaning the wound and instead told the woman “go and never to return to the hospital”. The nurse allegedly also told her she [the nurse] cannot quite understand why she was reacting so hysterically as “all women go through this procedure at the Walvis Bay state hospital”.
After the woman’s story appeared in the newspaper, namib times made contact with the Acting Regional Director of the Erongo Regional Health Directorate, Dr. Amir Shaker, by email and directed questions to him over allegations made by the woman. The newspaper also asked whether the incident will be investigated.
Dr. Shaker replied to the email, confirming the public relations division of the Ministry of Health and Social Services will reply to allegations made in the article. To date, nine days have passed without this reply issued by the public relations department.
Dr. Shaker then telephoned the reporter as well as the newsdesk editor, confirming he is investigating the matter, but also requested that all articles over any state hospital in the region must only be published after he scrutinized it.
With neither the reply from the ministry nor any confirmation by Dr. Shaker that he completed the investigation, namib times was informed by a text message from a family member of the woman who suffered the ordeal. She alleges in this text message that was sent on Wednesday of this week the woman was asked by Dr. Shaker to come in. He [Dr. Shaker] would bring a surgeon to treat the septic operation wound.
At the hospital the surgeon found the wound was recovering. The surgeon then prescribed a spray-on antiseptic for further treatment. According to this family member it was then that Dr. Shaker paraded the woman through the hospital to apologise.
The doctor who initially treated the woman replied: “you must publish in the newspaper that you told lies”.
Since this text message, namib times made several attempts on email and by phone calls to get in contact with Dr. Shaker. There is confusion over the matter: Dr. Shaker nor the public relations department of the hospital provided any reply as to the status of the investigation into the matter. Yet, the woman was forced to apologise.
In the meantime, the woman’s family also replied with a text message to namib times: “My family requested that we leave the matter”. Although she thanked namib times she said they now want peace.
Dr. Shaker reacted to questions and further allegations by the woman yesterday afternoon:
“I met the patient, asked her for her side of the story and told her I want to help her. I did not force the patient to apologise to the hospital staff. I tried to make peace between her and the doctor. I never forced her. I did this for the reason that the patient might need medical help again and I won’t be around, so my thoughts were to make peace between the patient and the hospital staff involved.
Her wound was already open when she came into the hospital, the doctor did not open the wound. When she arrived, it was open and oozing puss. When the doctor started to clean the patient’s wound, the patient started to feel the pain. When the patient was asked if they can administer anaesthetics, the patient refused. Her husband was there and even he pleaded with the patient that she must please allow the doctor to give her the anaesthetic. She just refused anaesthesia to be injected around the wound.
As a Director I would like to know what is behind all these stories in the newspaper. Is someone paying this woman to tell lies?”

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