In an unusual incident, a patient who was admitted at Mount Darwin hospital, in Mashonaland Central went missing for over a week, only to be discovered unconscious and se_xually abused over 100km away.
25-year-old, Wendy Chinomungu later passed on at Parirenyatwa hospital with post-mortem results showing that she had been se_xually assaulted.
The incident has left relatives and hospital authorities trading accusations.
The deceased’s relatives accuse hospital authorities of negligence.
Wendy’s twin brother, Webster Chinomungu narrated their ordeal and accused a matron at the hospital of masquerading as a doctor.
“My sister wasn’t feeling well for a while and she had been staying with our uncle in Mount Darwin. On the 30th of September, we took her to Mount Darwin hospital where we were received by a hospital staff who identified himself as Doctor Makamba,” he said.
“The ‘doctor’ insisted that we should leave our patient at the hospital because it had enough capacity to take care of all patients since they had a social welfare department and specially trained personnel to attend to patients.”
He further asserted that the ‘doctor’ told them to call after four days which they did and were told that their relative was recovering well, but they were not yet allowed to visit.
“On the 15th of October my uncle insisted they wanted to visit their relative to which the alleged doctor agreed, but they could not go on the same day due to financial challenges, so they later travelled on the 22nd of October. Upon arrival at the hospital the doctor said he was not at the hospital, but told them to go see one sister Karasa,” he added.
Police confirmed receiving a missing person’s report days after the now deceased had been discovered.
Mashonaland Central Police Spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Fidelis Dhewu said, “On the 22nd of October, Wendy Chinomungu (25) of Mudimu village under Chief Dotito in Mount Darwin sneaked out of hospital where she was admitted. Facts on the ground suggest that the same person was found between Concession and Glendale on the roadside while unconscious.”
“Police in Concession took her to a nearby hospital, but she was referred to Parirenyatwa hospital where she later died and a post-mortem report pointed to suspected sexual abuse.”
Meanwhile, Mount Darwin hospital matron, Forbes Makamba blames the whole mess on poor communication. He also confirmed that the hospital did not file a missing person’s report on time.
“Yes, we had a patient who was admitted at this institution with severe depression. When she was admitted there was poor communication between the hospital and the patient’s relatives. The hospital has a policy of not allowing people to stay at the hospital as a measure to contain Covid-19, but we only allow one to two visitors once a day,” he said.
He, however, admitted that the hospital did not file a police report in time, adding that the deceased could have sneaked out.
“l wouldn’t say we have proper security. We only have security guards at the gates and everywhere else there is nothing.”
This is not the first time that patients have disappeared in hospitals.
In 2013 Amos Ndlovu from Matshetshe area under Chief Masuku disappeared from Gwanda hospital while in the same year Melody Masuwa also disappeared from Chinhoyi hospital where she was admitted.