Fuvahmulah Hospital denies negligence in stillbirth and soldier’s death

Fuvahmulah Atoll Hospital has denied allegations of negligence in a series of medical incidents including a case of stillbirth and the recent death of a soldier on the island.

The hospital’s statement came in response to comments by Fuvahmulah Atoll Councilor Hussain Saeed, in which he blamed the hospital’s management and Health Minister Dr Mariyam Shakeela for “worsening conditions” at the hospital.

On May 31, a gynecologist at Fuvahmulah Atoll Hospital suspended a caesarean on a pregnant woman halfway through the surgery. That same night, the gynecologist refused to perform a caesarean on another pregnant woman after the fetus died in the womb. The patient’s family said the doctor had cited lack of obstetric gel to ease birth.

The following day, a soldier died of a heart attack while playing football on Fuvahmulah. Then on June 3, the family of a three-year-old told local media that doctors at the Fuvahmulah Hospital had given the child a wrong injection.

However, Fuvahmulah Hospital has denied any wrongdoing in the four cases and condemned the council’s comments saying they are “deeply saddened to note that the Fuvahmulah Atoll Council’s press conference on these incidents spread falsehoods and incited fear among the public.”

At a press conference at the President’s Office today, officials from the Health Ministry also defended the Fuvahmulah Hospital, but said investigations were underway to see if any negligence had occurred.


Speaking to the press in Malé yesterday, Saeed and five other councilors from the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) expressed concern over lack of doctors and medical supplies, and the quality of medical care at the hospital.

“We previously thought the Fuvahmulah Hospital was not cooperating with the Health Minister in implementing the government’s health policies. But when things at the Fuvahmulah Atoll Hospital drop to this level, it shows Health Minister Shakeela has been negligent in implementing President Yameen’s health policies,” Saeed said.

Councillors said there were 123 pregnant women on Fuvahmulah at present. The island has a population of 13,000, of which 700 are children.

Although a neonatal ICU has been opened on the island, the facility does not have a pediatrician, Saeed said.

He noted a lack of medical equipment and supplied on the island stating: “There are only two thermometers in the hospital. Doctors and nurses only have two machines to check blood pressure.”

“Doctors [told us] when they ask the management for chemicals, the management told them to make do with what is available,” he continued.

Doctors also said the management shut down any initiative to improve facilities, Saeed said.

“When Fuvahmulah doctors take initiatives to improve facilities at the hospital, Fuvahmulah hospital’s administrative officer threatens doctors and tell them not to speak about the hospital. [Doctors said] they are made to work overtime, but overtime remuneration is cut from their salaries,” Saeed said.

Procedures followed

In a statement today, the Fuvahmulah Hospital explained that the first pregnant woman had arrived at the hospital for a routine check up, but was hospitalised when the doctor noticed the fetus’ heartbeat was too fast.

The gynecologist scheduled a caesarean with the family’s consent, but suspended the surgery after making an incision. A pediatrician and a second gynecologist were brought from neighboring Addu City hospital to complete the surgery.

The operation was completed successfully and no harm was caused to either the mother or child, the hospital said.

Speaking to the press at the President’s Office today, gynecologist Dr Hawwa Hana said the Fuvahmulah doctor followed the correct procedures.

“From our observations it appears [the doctor] during the surgery noticed issues that could endanger the mother that they had not noticed before,” she said.

“The placenta was at an unusually low position, and because of this there were changes to the mother’s veins, and the doctor suspected it may cause complications such as excessive bleeding. They decided not to remove the baby and wait for additional help from another team from Addu,” she said.

The Fuvahmulah Hospital said they also had not detected any negligence in the stillbirth case.

The pregnant woman had been hospitalised at 10:30pm on May 31 when the gynecologist noticed the baby’s pulse declining during a checkup. The fetus died in the womb, and the doctor opted for a natural birth.

When the baby was delivered at dawn the next day, doctors found the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck, the hospital said.

Hana went into further detail stating that the doctor did not have the opportunity to save the baby before the pulse dropped.

“With the baby’s death, the highest priority is the mother’s life. And so instead of a surgery, a normal delivery was recommended,” she said.

Soldier’s death

Fuvahmulah Atoll Councilor Hussain Saeed said Maldives National Defense Forces (MNDF) Corporal Abdulla Nazmee had not received any emergency care when he collapsed while playing football. The hospital’s ambulance arrived on the scene with just a driver and no emergency care facilities, he said.

The Fuvahmulah Hospital, however, said the doctor had not detected a pulse when Nazmee was brought to the hospital.

“But this hospital’s doctors and nurses tried to see another way. We would like to note emergency response injections and facilities are available at this hospital,” the statement read.

The hospital also said the three-year-old who is said to have received the wrong injection in fact received an antibiotics injection. The child’s condition did not decline because of the injection, the hospital said, adding that the child is now doing well.


7 thoughts on “Fuvahmulah Hospital denies negligence in stillbirth and soldier’s death”

  1. Maldivian gov has sold their souls to fundamentalists. absolute disgrace in this day and age. treat people like poo and you will get poo. karma.. wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. It's His will that the baby should be in heaven.

    Don't blame the hospital.

  3. It's simple ridiculous for the MoH to expect people to believe that the doc had to wait without taking any measures to save the baby because the placenta was low. Come on. Don't we know these things months ahead from scans?!!! Why wasn't the woman told to go to another hospital with better facilities then? Is it acceptable for the doc to wait endangering the mother's health and the baby's life? Any thoughts to how helpless the mother would feel, and to have her lose her baby like this after carrying it for full term? Really MoH! Time to start doing what you are supposed to do instead of constantly defending your inefficiencies and negligence!!! And some would still say the health sector is improving!!! Open your eyes and see reality, it's only going from bad to worse.

  4. Jamsheed was made health minister, because, he is a cousin of Mohamed Jameel(VP), from Fuammulaku. And the health sector went "to the dogs". The whole health sector became so stingy and smelling.

    And now, Shakeela was made health minister, because, her husband spent in millions to topple Anni.

    Yaameen should understand that the post of health minister is a very "fragile" (naazuku) post, as it involves the "furaana" of the "rayyithun".

    The minister of health post should be given to a person who is competent, not a person who's husband contributed to topple a government.

  5. The Heakth Ministry is not responsible for the individual mistakes or malpractice, a Doctor or a Lab Tecnichian does. The concerned Doctor or the staff has a legal obligation. And if he/she does not perform the obligation, the respective person should face the case, in a court of law.

    But, the sad ting is, the Health Ministry is defending the guilty Doctor or Doctors. Obligation of a Gynacologist is stated and written down. According to the responsibilities of a Gynecologist, he is entitled to perform a Caesarean section without the help of a Surgeon or a Paedetrician. He/she should perform a Caesarean section when an indication for such an operation is detected. And the operation should be done without further delay, as indications for Caesarean section are fully mentionned (by the book) and should be done in certain instances, at the certain time that the operation is called for. If the Gynecologist was not able to handle a "low placenta" Caesarean-section and waited for Doctors to come from Addu, it is incompetency, carelessness and negligence of the Doctor concerned. And the Gynecologist is responsible for the consequences that may occur during the time Doctors arrive from Addu. In this case, Insha Allah, nothing happened!

    Incompetent health workers should be duly punished, not defended.

  6. Dr Rameee: The MoH most certainly is responsible for ensuring that the proper regulations and procedures are followed in health service delivery institutions. The Health Minister is not doing the surgery or the test, but when the hospital itself lacks the proper facilities for doctors there to carry out the necessary medical services, especially emergencies, well then you can't blame the doctor, it's a question for the MoH as to why these facilities were not there in a "Hospital". If that was the case, then it should have been downgraded to a clinic so that everyone understands that only very limited facilities are available. I am sure even the women would not have gone to that so called hospital if it according to the facilities available had been duly categorized, as a clinic. What the doctor did wrong in this was not telling the patient to go to another hospital, with the facilities available to look after her for a safe delivery. Other than than, when the hospital is poor equipped and staffed, it indeed becomes a responsibility of the MoH!

  7. @dr ramie,I don't known from where you got your medical education, but as I under medicine is multifactorial discipline an intermingling of different specialities, medicine as practised in Maldives a combination of 3 specialities in major atoll hospitalpine maldives is not recognised as universal health better improve hospital equipments and staffing patter to achieve ideal healthcare for patients in maldives


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