Hospital staffers in western Nepal mistake ailing boy for dead girl

PHOTO: Hospital staffers in western Nepal mistake ailing boy for dead girl

BUTWAL, Nepal - Doctors and nurses at the Siddhartha Children and Women Hospital (SCWH) in Butwal, Rupandehi district, have been accused of mistaking an ailing child for a dead one.

On Wednesday noon, Bidhya Harijan of Gonaha VDC-1 in the district was admitted to the Bhim Hospital in Bhairahawa and gave born to a baby boy. The hospital, however, referred the child to the SCWH for further treatment after it did not cry right after the birth.

Bidhya's husband Kanhaiya and brother-in-law Paramalik took the child to the SCWH and admitted him to the ICU. The SCWH officials, however, handed over the child's body to the family at around 12pm that night, declaring him dead.

While performing final rites for the child the following morning, the family came to know that the dead child was a girl, not their son.

Then they immediately took the body to the SCWH and handed it over to the hospital. They accused doctors and nurses of being too negligent.

Admitting to their mistake, the hospital administration has formed a three-member committee to investigate into the matter.

Former Chairman of Lumbini Zonal Hospital Ram Bahadur Karki is coordinator of the committee while Dr Santosh Pokharel of the SCWH and Ram Prasad Harijan from the victim's side are members. The hospital officials said they will make public a report about the incident within seven days.

Meanwhile, the dead child's parents have also accused the hospital of administering medicines supposed to be given to the child of Bidhya to their child, thus causing the child's death.

The baby girl, daughter of Kamala Gautam of Nayagaun in Gulmi, was admitted to the hospital for treatment. Kamala was unaware of her baby's death until she was handed over the body returned by the Harijans.