Samuel Kadungure Senior Reporter
A 14-YEAR-OLD boy, Ashley Matsvaire, died while undergoing voluntary medical male circumcision at Triangle Hospital in Chiredzi, on Tuesday, The Manica Post can reveal.
The incident left the boy’s parents seething with anger and alleging negligence on part of the hospital staff.
Mr Daniel Matsvaire, the boy’s father, said they had since requested an independent pathologist to ascertain the actual cause of his death.
The Matsvaires have since met the medical team whose explanation for Ashley’s death was internal secretion which resulted in water being leaked into his lungs.
His mother, Mrs Tendai Jamela, said her son was in a jovial mood when she escorted him to the hospital for circumcision around 6am.
“There is an element of negligence on the part of the team involved because when he returned from the theatre, he was lifeless. I was called in to look at him, but his body was very cold. I asked Dr Ziki why he was lifeless, but he told me that he had injected him with another injection to stop the pain. I insisted again after some time as he remained in that state of unconsciousness and again the doctor told me not to worry,” said Mrs Jamela.
She said the boy was given an epileptic tablet and water as they prepared him for surgery.
“Ashley was epileptic and they gave him some medication as they prepared him for theatre. They went on to inject him to cause him to sleep while they perform the process, but he never regained consciousness,” said Mrs Jamela, who said she never left the hospital premises and became suspicious when the process dragged for nearly two hours.
Mr Daniel Matsvaire, the boy’s father, said he met the hospital authorities late Wednesday afternoon where he was advised by one Dr Ziki that they had opted to inject the child due to his epileptic condition.
“The doctor said the circumcision surgery was successful and at some point the boy showed signs of life, but became unconscious again. Their explanation was that he developed an internal secretion and released water into the lungs and died.
We are requesting a second specialist opinion from an independent pathologist because their explanation does not add up. The news of his death came as a shock to us. Neither I nor his mother can believe it,” said Mr Matsvaire
Masvingo police spokesperson, Inspector Charity Mazula, said she had not received the report at the time of going to Press on Wednesday.
“I have not received such a report and have tasked someone in Chiredzi to investigate the matter,” she said.
The acting Provincial Medical Director (PMD) for Masvingo, Dr Amadeus Shamu, could neither confirm nor the incident.
“We are still trying to establish what really happened due to communication breakdown from Triangle Hospital. So far what we can confirm is that someone died under circumstances that have forced the bereaved family to request for a post mortem.
“There is an incident at Triangle Hospital in which an autopsy has been requested at Chiredzi District Hospital, but I am not really sure whether it was during circumcision or not.
“But if the parents are making such claims, then it could be true, and I have tasked the DMO for Chiredzi to investigate the matter,” said Dr Shamu.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care national advocacy and communications officer Mr Brian Nachipo said they would issue a full statement once investigations are complete.
“We have tasked the PMD to establish what really transpired and it is on the basis of the findings that the ministry will issue out a statement,” said Mr Nachipo.
Male circumcision is surgical removal of the foreskin — the retractable fold of tissue that covers the head of the male organ and is taunted an effective biomedical intervention that has been proven to reduce the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission by up to 60 percent.
The surgery is performed by trained health professionals on infants, adolescents and adults.