25th June 2019
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Juba hospital denies depriving baby of oxygen

Author: Charles Wote | Published: 3 weeks ago

Some Jubek health officials display gas cylinders during at interview with Eye Radio on Monday, June 3 | Credit | Charles Wote/Eye Radio

The al-Sabah children’s Hospital in Juba has denied switching off a generator that resulted in the death of a baby boy on oxygen last month.

Over the weekend, the father of an 8-month-old baby told Eye Radio that his child died at the children’s health facility after the management switched off the generator.

Baby Manasseh Chien was admitted to the on the first of May for dyspnea – a difficulty in breathing.

His father Peter Madol says he had since then been on oxygen support.

Madol says due to a policy of switching off the generator, his son died during the early hours of Wednesday morning, the 15th of May.

In response, Jubek State Health officials deny all these allegations.

“Sometimes somebody may die because of one reason. And, of course, when death occurs, so many things can come up. Anybody can say whatever the cause,” said Salyi Lolaku Samuel, state minister of health.

“Sometimes even [relatives] can bring patient almost at the last stage and will die here then he will say because his relative was not helped.”

For his part, the acting Executive Director of al-Sabah Children’s Hospital – Dr. Felix Nyungura – also rubbished the report. He said:

“There is no body who put off the power intentionally. What I should say is let [us] not interfere with the running of the hospital. We [are] trying our best to do what we can do for the patients.”

However, the father of the baby boy, Peter Madol, insists that his child died because the management switched off the generator:

“First of all, the equipment and other facilities might be there but what I have learned is that nobody was using them appropriately,” he argued.

“When my son had a difficulty breathing at 12 midnight, he was put on oxygen. Then at around 2:00 o’clock the generator was switched off when they knew a child was on oxygen.”

This is not the first time Eye Radio has received complaints from the members of the public this year about al-Sabah which is being supported by international development partners – including USAID, UKAID, Canada, and Sweden.

In April, a civil society leader told Eye Radio that he was shocked at how nurses at al-Sabah Children’s hospital were handling the sick children at the facility.

Rajab Muhandis said he noticed reluctance among health workers on duty, congestion in the wards, poor hygiene and sanitation in the wards and its surroundings, and long hours of waiting before a child received treatment.

“I was surprised by the experience I got in that health center. First the child was born at that clinic, the midwife who was in charge of this process, who was on duty, was harsh and aggressive.

Muhandis said he later lost his child at the hospital.

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