Nurses Guilty of Kleopas’ Death

THE Health Professions Council of Namibia has suspended three nurses in connection with the death of Juliana Kleopas (41) and her newborn baby about two years ago.

Kleopas was scheduled to undergo a Caesarian section operation at Katutura State Hospital in April, but the operation did not take place because the medical staff reportedly told her that it was a public holiday. She died of a heart attack on 3 May 2012 after having been in labour for a couple of days.

The three nurses – Isebel Akawa, Leopoldine Mbendeka and Bertha Mutikisha – who were on duty when Kleopas died, were found guilty of misconduct arising from three charges: that they omitted andor neglected to correctly diagnose the health needs, prescribe, provide and execute the correct nursing regimen.

They were also accused of omitting andor neglecting to determine the health status and the physiological responses of Kleopas and that they omitted andor neglected to keep a clear and accurate record of all action performed in connection with Kleopas. The council’s legal services manager, Johanna Nghishekwa, confirmed the suspension yesterday, saying the ruling has been

sent to the Nursing Council of Namibia for a final decision.

“All the three nurses have been suspended for two years, one of which has been lifted. The hearing was conducted by the professional committee that makes recommendations to the nursing council on the penalties to be imposed. If the accused are found guilty, the recommendations together with the records are presented to the nursing council for the final decision,” Nghishekwa said.

The council’s lawyer, Kaijata Kangueehi, also confirmed the verdict yesterday, saying the nurses have been suspended without pay.

“They were found guilty of unprofessional conduct. They will not practise medicine for one year,” Kangueehi said.Kleopas’ sister Vigilia said the suspension is not enough: “Just a suspension for a year is not enough at all. My sister and her unborn baby will never come back just because these three women decided it was a public holiday and they were not going to help my sister. I don’t think I will forgive them any time soon, if ever,” Vigilia said.

The three nurses’ lawyer, Louis la Grange, did not attend the final hearing, but Moudi Hangula of Shikongo Law Chambers who appeared for the nurses yesterday, said she could not say much since the case was a sensitive one.

Source : The Namibian