A Harare woman is claiming ZWL$700 000 in damages from the government after she went into premature labour and lost her baby without receiving any emergency medical care from doctors and nurses at the Sally Mugabe Central Hospital on 17 June.
Valerie Chibaya is suing Vice President Constantino Chiwenga in his capacity as Health Minister after accusing health officials at the hospital of neglecting to treat her as a medical emergency.
In her High Court papers, Chibaya said she went to the hospital when she was 23 weeks pregnant after experiencing unusual abdominal pains.
She said upon arrival, the doctors and nurses did not take her temperature, blood pressure or sugar levels nor did they do a routine check-up on her but insisted that she gets a scan first before they could treat her. Chibaya’s summons read:
It is reasonably foreseeable that a pregnant woman presenting herself at night in severe abdominal pain, if not medically assisted diligently and as a matter of urgency would develop complications threatening her life, causing pain and suffering, loss of and amenities of life.
The traumatic experience by plaintiff occurred in a public place where people watched her in such a vulnerable position.
Plaintiff, as a result, was humiliated, demeaned and embarrassed.
Chiwenga and the Health Ministry are yet to file their responses to Chibaya’s lawsuit.