Medical Council yet to investigate Fatou Dibba’s death

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By Alagie Manneh

The Gambia Dental and Medical Council (GMDC), has clarified that it has so far not opened any investigation into the alleged negligent death of one Fatou Dibba of Bakau.

Fatou, 37, died in an ambulance at the EFSTH’s A&E after giving birth to twins.

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She was referred there after experiencing cough and breathing problems, but staff allegedly failed to attend to her due to fears she was exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19.

In the wake of her death, the management of the main referral hospital, EFSTH, opened a probe and sent an unnamed doctor on administrative leave pending the outcome of a further investigation it said was being initiated by the GMDC. 

“The entire dossier [of our findings] was forwarded to the GMDC, being the regulatory body for medical and dental professionals in the country, for investigation and recommendations,” the EFSTH said in a statement at the time.

However, the GMDC said it was never in the picture regarding the matter and that it never launched any probe to that effect.

“[The issue about opening an investigation] is a question for the minister of health, not for the Council,” Dr Melville George, the chairman of the Council, told The Standard.

“That is not an accurate information [to say that we have opened an investigation into the matter].  We have never opened any investigation. That is the health ministry’s [job]. It’s the ministry of health who is responsible for opening an investigation. We have not been informed of any such issue [regarding Fatou Dibba],” Mr George said on the sidelines of an induction ceremony for medical practitioners.

Reacting to the chairman’s claims, EFSTH PRO Kebba Sanneh, said: “We passed the information to them.”

Fatou Dibba, whose death became a rallying cry for Gambian activists and women’s rights advocates, left behind five children and a husband.