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October 21, 2018

Medical board investigates botched breast enlargement case

June Wanza, who died a botched breast enlargement operation. /COURTESY
June Wanza, who died a botched breast enlargement operation. /COURTESY

The medical board has requested the family of a woman who died after a botched breast enlargement surgery to file an official complaint. This will allow it to open an inquest into whether the surgeon is liable for negligence.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board promised the complaint could be investigated and resolved within three months.

KMPDB boss Daniel Yumbya said the probe into the death of Wanza Mulupi could take longer if they schedule more interviews.

“Once a case has been lodged it takes three months. Th at is if it is a straightforward issue and the partners accept liability,” he told the Star. But as the Board launched investigations, the name of the doctor and the facility where the initial operation was done remained a mystery.

Yesterday evening the family of the woman had remained silent as they waited for postmortem results. Galleria Mall denied yesterday the surgery occurred in their premises.

“While Galleria Shopping Mall has a branch of Nairobi Hospital in its premise, it is strictly an outpatient facility, without the infrastructure to perform surgeries,” Salma Cherono from the Mall’s communications and marketing department said.

Yesterday Yumbya said the board’s legal team had not received any complaint from the family or lawyers regarding the death of June Wanza. She died last week from complications of a botched breast enlargement operation at a plastic surgery clinic in Nairobi.

Wanza died at the Nairobi Hospital’s ICU, where she was admitted after developing complications.

“Any- one can make a complaint and we really encourage the family to do that so we can begin investigations immediately,” Yumbya said.

He said the board had gathered scant details from media reports, which did not include the name of the clinic or the doctor who performed the first operation.

“If we had all those details we would have launched our investigations immediately, but for now, we have to wait for the official complaint to be filed,” he said. However, the family requested time to grieve before they make any move.

“We are having the postmor- tem tomorrow [yesterday]. Allow us to finish that process,” they said through lawyer Jared Orare on Monday.

Wanza will be buried on Saturday. The mother of three was an avid blogger and her Instagram photos show she was an aspiring model.

If the surgeon who first operated on her is found culpable, the practicing licence may be withdrawn.

At least 900 cases of alleged malpractice have been reported to the KMPDB in the past decade and more than 800 determined. Yumbya said from these cases, only one doctor was deregistered, but about 30 had their licences suspend- ed for not more than a year.

He recently said unnecessary suspensions and deregistrations would trigger crises in public hospitals.

“In this country we produce only 1,000 doctors every year and only 6,500 doctors practice in the public sector,” he said.

The board lacks powers to determine compensation and it is upon the doctor and patient to agree. More than 25 such cases have been ordered for mediation between patients and doctors.

Wanza died after her intestines were severed during the breast enlargement surgery. She developed sepsis, an infection that takes effect when the body’s im- mune system releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection. “Because her intestines were cut, all the waste was seeping out and spreading inside the stomach. That caused an infection called sepsis.

Doctors battled to save her life on Friday but she died from the infection,” a family member told the Star.

Kenya Medical Association chairperson Jacqueline Kitulu said the institution does not handle miscon- duct complaints, but had not learned of the incident before it was published by the Star.

Read: Woman dies after botched breast enlargement surgery

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