‘Cause of death of Solo Sandeng was not shock, respiratory failure’

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Babucarr Mbye Adama Saine, an administrator at the Serekunda General Hospital, on 6 March, 2019, told the High Court in Banjul before Justice Kumba Sillah-Camara that the cause of death of Solo Sandeng was not shock and respiratory failure.

In his testimony, he told the court that he lives at Sanchaba Sulay Jobe, adding that he works at the Kanifing General Hospital, formerly Serekunda General Hospital. He stated that he is an administrator overseeing the medical record department, noting that the change of name of the hospital occurred in May, 2016.

Mr. Saine narrated that he assists the Chief Executive Officer on the daily operation of the hospital, disclosing that he also supervises and monitors the hospital service delivery systems. He said that he was redeployed there for one year three months, stating further that he was working at Bansang General Hospital. He revealed that he worked for 15 years in the medical field.

He told the court that they have 5 admission wards and all the wards have death certificate books. He adduced that he was testifying in relation to the death certificate they saw in the social media bearing the name of Solo Sandeng and the signature of Lamin Sanyang.

He went on to say that they received a letter from the office of the IGP, adding that as a result of the receipt of the letter, they summoned the head of the medical record unit to bring the death certificate. He testified that he brought the book and they went through it page by page, stating that they observed that there was a page detached from the book.

He said they confirmed that the death certificate was extracted from the accident and emergency department record book. At this juncture, the death certificate book was given to him, and he confirmed that it was from the Serekunda General Hospital.

He narrated that the death certificate book was always in custody of the ward in charge, saying that the book comes in duplicate. He revealed that when the book was exhausted, it would be returned to the medical record unit, noting that the one which was given to him in the courtroom was exhausted.

Mr. Saine further told the court that the nurses working in the ward and the medical officers have access to the book, disclosing that he is also trained as a nurse. He testified that he knows somebody by the name Lamin Lang Sanyang and that they were trained together. He stated that Lamin Lang Sanyang was his senior at the SRN (State Registered Nurse).

He informed the court that Lamin Lang Sanyang works at the Serekunda General Hospital as locus staff, indicating that Lamin Lang Sanyang worked with the NIA.

At this juncture, he was asked to point Lamin Lang Sanyang out. He then walked to where the accused persons were and pointed at Lamin Lang Sanyang.

Lawyer Antouman Gaye applied to tender the death certificate book, and there was no objection raised by the defense. The said document was admitted by the court.

The witness was asked to go through the book and tell the court whether it was intact. He did so and said that it was not intact because seven pages were missing. He further stated that Lamin Lang Sanyang was working at the accident and emergency department from where the book was obtained. He said that it is the doctor who certifies the death of patients who has the authority to sign a death certificate, and he is the only one who is qualified to sign the death certificate.

He disclosed that the name of the deceased on the death certificate which was dated 15th April, 2016, was Mr. Ebrima Solo Sandeng and was signed by Lamin Lang Sanyang.  He further said that according to the death certificate, the primary cause of death of Solo Sandeng was shock and the secondary cause was respiratory failure. He adduced that Solo Sandeng was not admitted at the accident and emergency department on the date stated on the death certificate.

Mr. Saine revealed that death certificates are issued for patients who died at the hospital, noting that Solo Sandeng did not die at the hospital. He disclosed that Lamin Lang Sanyang was not authorised to sign death certificates.

Hearing continues on the 11th March, 2019.       

Author: Dawda Faye