Doctors, nurse suspended over negligence, misconduct

THE Zanzibar Ministry of Health has revoked licences of registered nurses and doctors convicted for negligence and unprofessional conduct that led to a death of a pregnant woman and her newborn two weeks ago at the Mnazi Mmoja referral hospital.

Following an investigation by the medical doctors’ council, three medical staff who were on duty on May 15, 2023, have been found guilty of negligence and misconduct after leaving the pregnant woman, who needed emergency service, unattended for hours until her death.

The staff who violated their ethics and medical practitioners’ dentists Act No. 12 of 1999 are Dr Ms Salamuu Rashid Ali whose licence was revoked and suspended for one-year and Dr Nihifadhi Issa Kassim whose licence was deregistered and suspended for two years.

A nurse, Riziki Suleiman Yussuf was found to be illegally practicing as a medical doctor without a licence and was handed to police for criminal offence.

The incident attracted attention from the government after aggrieved relatives and husband of the deceased ill-fated woman appeared in the media, prompting reaction from the health authorities led by Minister for Health Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui and his deputy Mr Hassan Khamis Hafidh.

“This is unacceptable. We will continue taking serious action against misconduct. We want all medical practitioners and staff in the country to behave and act professionally,” the deputy minister emphasised.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), between the year 2000 and 2020, approximately 800 pregnant women died from preventable factors.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target 3.1 is to reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births by 2030, and according to Zanzibar Minister for Health Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui his government has been taking multiple measures to achieve the target.

The measures include promoting professionalism and ethics among health staff, improving skills and working environment, purchasing modern equipment, increasing space (more hospital buildings) and improving accessibility and funding (through Public Private Partnership-PPP).

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