2 year old Zaara Jeenathally could have lost her life due to negligence and lack of professionalism of a doctor at the Jawaharlal Nehru hospital.
The mother of the toddler made the doctor understood that she suspected her daughter had swallowed an object but the doctor did not do an X-ray to the child to confirm the words of the mother. He prescribed Panadol syrup and vitamins. According to the parents, the doctor indicated that the small Zaara was suffering from throat infection and she had fever.
It was in the afternoon of Monday September 26 that the small Zaara who was in the living room, began to feel ill. She put her hand in her mouth as she wanted to vomit. She became quite pale. Her mother Nigar Jeenathally and her grandmother began to panic. The little baby was taken to the hospital in Rose Belle. They went to the pediatric section and the mother explained to the doctor that her daughter swallowed an object. “Docteur ouvert so la bouche et li dire ki ena infection la gorge et ki tout korek,” she says. She gave her daughter a spoonful of medicine that the doctor prescribed. But as soon as the toddler swallowed the drug, she vomited.
They returned back home by bus and the child was in a state of weakness and could barely breathe. Her feet were cold and her face turned pale. At the insistence of the grandmother, they transported the child to a private doctor in Rose Belle. The private doctor recommended a radio-graphic examination.
Dr. Rao Dharkanth Seereekisoon, specialist in radiology, clearly saw a small round body in the trachea of the child which prevents breathing. “There is a rounded corner Opacity Radiopaque seen in the upper portion of esophagus,” the doctor wrote in his report. He must act quickly otherwise the small Zaara risk of dying suffocated.
She was immediately transported to the ENT hospital in Vacoas at around 6PM. On site, they found that the hospital has no X-ray machine. They then went to Victoria Hospital for X-rays which confirmed the presence of a coin in the esophagus of the baby.
Without further delay, they performed a return route to the ENT hospital at around 7:30 PM. Once there, the necessary care was provided to the child. A small operation under general anesthesia was required. Using forceps with a telescopic arm, the 20 cents coin was removed from the child’s throat.
According to a private doctor who requested anonymity, the awkwardness of his fellow doctor could have been fatal to the child. “C’est un acte criminel de la part d’un médecin qui ne connaît pas son travail et a laissé souffrir un enfant en bas âge,” he said.
The police officers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital did not hesitate to call the doctor an “executioner”. “Banne stagiaires ki pas conne fer zotte travail ti capave touye ene zenfant,” said a family member. The aunt of the child Surayya was out of her mind. She did not mince her words against the doctor who was not available at that time. “Kan mo demande pou zoine docteur la zotte dire li fini aller et ki bizin faire complainte avec surintendant l’hôpital,” she said.
Surrayya does not intend to give up and filed a complaint against the doctor in the office of the hospital superintendent. “Sa zotte pou touffé sa et pas pou conné ki fine arriver. Ti bizin suspanne docteur là et faire ene l’enquête,” she stormed. Surrayya emphasizes that her approach is to prevent the doctor from repeating the same mistake. The Jeenathally family is very angry and demanded sanctions to be taken against the doctor by the Ministry of Health. “S’il faut rencontrer le Premier ministre nous le ferons pour le bien des enfants du pays,” says a family friend.