Women uterus removal without consent in hospitals: Medical Council of Malawi meets parliamentary committee

Medical Council of Malawi on Tuesday morning appeared before parliament’s Health Committee where a wide range of issues were discussed.

Dr Matthews Ngwale chair of parliamentary health committee 

Members of the Health Committee were shocked to learn of a negligent incident at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre where uterus were being removed from women without their consent.

The council intervened after a media report and summoned health workers implicated in 20 cases of medical misconduct as revealed in the recent Ombudsman report on conduct of medical practitioners in some public facilities.

Ombudsman report said the misconduct led to the removal of over 161 uteruses of pregnant women in the country’s four major public hospitals.

The facilities where the cases were registered between January and July 2018 are Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Zomba Central Hospital, Kamuzu Central Hospital and Mzuzu Central Hospital.

In the report, Ombudsman Mary Chizuma states that negligence is the main cause of removal of uteruses medically referred to as hysterectomy.

Reads the report in part: “Most of the disturbing incidents of hysterectomy are those arising from pure negligence and lack of care on the part of health personnel. Only few of such medical personnel are held to account for their misconduct.”

It recommends the disciplining of the medical professionals found guilty of various types of misconduct and that MoH should complete a functional review process, an assessment of its existing staff establishments for doctors and nurses in all health facilities, by June 30 2020.

The acting registrar of the council Richard Ndovie also told the committee that 17 specialist doctors have left the country so far for various reasons.

He told the committee that the council has so far inspected 132 public hospitals and 56 private clinics, saying 40 private clinics were licensed and opened while 29 clinics were closed for operating illegally.

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