A 33-year-old woman from a northern island died from uncontrolled bleeding following a caesarean section today.
Aishath Fariyal underwent surgery at the regional hospital in Haa Dhaal Atoll Kulhudhuffushi Island and was flown to Malé after doctors were unable to control bleeding despite removing her uterus.
Fariyal was brought to the state-owned Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital on a ventilator. “She was extremely weak when she was brought to the IGMH, she had bled extensively,” said Zeenath Ali, a spokesperson.
Every maternal death is reviewed by the ministry of health, she said.
The Egyptian doctor who oversaw the caesarean has been suspended temporarily.
Faiyaal’s child is safe, according to the Kulhudhuffushi Hospital.
Her death has sparked outcry over poor services in the Maldives’ remote atolls. Hospitals lack qualified doctors and medical equipment. The words “hospital in a state of emergency” was sprayed onto the walls of the Kulhudhuffushi hospital today.
In November, a 57-year-old victim of a heart attack from the island of Milandhoo in Shaviyani atoll died when her oxygen tank ran out just as she was about to board a plane to the capital.
Ali Mohamed, who heads Kulhudhuffushi island council, said councillors met with the regional hospital management regarding her death.
“The hospital management informed us that the Egyptian doctor has been suspended after being instructed to do so by the health ministry. Only the health ministry investigation will reveal the details of the case and if there is any medical negligence involved,” he said.
But complaints had been lodged against the doctor previously, he said.
“In early December last year, a woman was flown to Malé after experiencing breathing problems following a caesarean by this doctor,” he added.
Fariyal, a primary school teacher, has three other children, local media report. The ministry of health was not responding to calls at the time of going to press.
Health professionals are rarely prosecuted for medical negligence. An Indian lab technician who was blamed for the transfusion of HIV positive blood to a Maldivian patient in 2014 was held for months in police custody and deported last year.
President Abdulla Yameen ratified in September the Health Services Act, a law aimed at improving healthcare and specifying code of conduct and the rights and responsibilities of the health sector.