Stella Maris School negligence cost student’s life

Stella Maris Secondary School is a prestigious instituion, but the recent death of of one of the students has created a blot in its image., leaving her family in state of despondency, Nyasa Times has learnt.

Georgina Nkhata 18, a form four student, died on Thursday evening at queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) where she was rushed to due to cerebral-Malaria.

She was buried over the weekend at her home village, Benjamin T/A Kandulu in Mwanza.

According to one of the family members and one of school teachers, Nkhata was denied to access medical attention by the school’s administration after she reported sick earlier last week.

Chide, Ministry of Education spokesman: No immediate comment
Chide, Ministry of Education spokesman: No immediate comment

“She died on January 17, which was her birthday. The family is in distress right now and we don’t know what to do because as an education institution we trusted it with the life of our child; and now their negligence to provide necessary medical attention has led to her death,” lamented one of the family members.

The school, according to the information Nyasa Times has gathered, played down the Nkhata’s sickness; instead it opted to administer pain-killers on her without proper diagnosis from certified medical expert. Her situation, eventually, worsened, resulting into her demise.

“When she reported sick, the school authority disregarded it, saying it was not all that serious. Instead, they gave her Panados, but nothing changed until Thursday when the situation worsened. They contacted her parents before rushing her to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival”.

In an interview with Nyasa Times, the school’s deputy headmaster, a Mr. Zulu while confirming the death, refused to comment further and referred the issue to the Ministry of Education.

“I will only give you the school’s version of the story on that death unless we are permitted by the Ministry, but as of now we can’t comment further on that,” said Zulu.

However, efforts to talk to the Ministry’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Lindiwe Chide proved futile as she could not answer her phones and her office said she was locked up in a meeting every time we called.

Collaborated interviews with several teachers and students revealed that the Catholic-owned education institution headed by Sister Chikhwiza operates on strict rules and regulations, which played part on the death of Nkhata.

“Apart from restricting visitations, the students are mostly denied permission to seek medical attention from any hospital unless the condition is critical. Most of the times the administration opts for its own medical care although we don’t have trained medical practitioner,” disclosed one of the teachers.

Stella Maris is one of the Catholic Church run Secondary Schools with support from the Ministry of Education.

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