A Philippi mother is furious after she lost her grandson to what she claims was negligence on the part of the doctor who allegedly failed to refer him to hospital and thus lost his life.
Gogo Ntombekhaya Vokwana, 67, claims that Liyema Vokwana, 4, would not have succumbed had the doctor at the Crossroad Clinic referred him to hospital as he was visibly distressed.
“It does not make sense to me why the doctor did not refer the child to hospital, because he was clearly very sick.
I will never accept any excuse about this. He (Liyema) would not be dead, had he referred him to hospital, because clearly he was very sick. How could you send someone back home in that condition? We would not be able to take him to hospital without their referral,” Vokwana said.
Simbongile Kasper, 23, who took Liyema to the clinic, said the doctor told him that Liyema might suffer from fits and that they should take him back to the clinic after five days if he had fits.
“The doctor said we must return him back after five days. He gave us Panado tablets. We left the clinic after 10am and he died around 2pm. He was feeling very cold and then he told me that he was feeling very hot. He then vomited. He never had fits before. He was shaking before he died,” Kasper said.
Monique Johnstone, principal communications officer in the Klipfontein/ Mitchells Plain and Western/Southern Sub-structures, for the Western Cape Department of Health, expressed sincere condolences to the family of Liyema.
“It is most unfortunate that a young child lost his life to underlying medical conditions, which were communicated to the family previously. Unfortunately the continuous defaults by his caregivers weakened his immune system which compromised his health and placed him at risk of contracting other illnesses.
“All the required medical steps were taken in managing Liyema’s symptoms on presentation.
The department prioritises the healthcare needs of children, and no form of medical negligence took place when Liyema was examined by the healthcare provider,” Johnstone said.
She said Liyema was seen according to the Integrated Management Child Illness (IMCI) national treatment protocol system, which is a very effective examination process in order to clarify the symptoms or illness of the child.
Johnstone said the deceased presented to the facility with painful ears, a fever, body pains and coughing, and was given appropriate pain and fever medication immediately to decrease the fever.
On examination and using the IMCI national treatment protocol, Liyema was diagnosed with an acute ear infection and prescribed with an antibiotic and medication for pain, fever and diarrhoea.
“As per standard procedure, the necessary health education was given to Liyema’s caregiver regarding the infection and previous communication regarding his underlying condition.
Clients and caregivers are educated on the importance of sticking to appointments and taking medication as prescribed in order for the patient to have a better quality of life,” she said.
- Vokwana is also appealing to anyone who can help find her daughter, Zimkhitha Vokwana, 39, Liyema’s mother, who went missing in 2012.
She said Zimkhitha came from the Eastern Cape when Liyema was two months old and then she disappeared without a trace soon afterwards. “She left the house to visit her friend who stays few blocks away from here and her friend said she did not arrive at her home. She came from the Eastern Cape to drop the child here for me to raise him. I want her to come back home. I am appealing to anyone who can assist me to find her,” she said.