Child dies in Kifri as medical workers strike at hospitals

After two days of the death of their little son, the family of Mohammed Nawzad, 9, stormed Kifri general hospital. Photo: Saman Karim

KirkukNow- Kifri

The family of a nine-year-old child, after the death of their son, stormed Kifri general hospital, believing that their son died because of the medical workers’ strike and lack of proper treatment.

The incident took place on June 10, when Mohammed Nawzad had a sudden kidney pain and was seen by couple of doctors. He received treatments; however, his health condition further deteriorated and was transferred to Kalar district’s hospital. The nine-year-old child died on June 15 due to “the medical workers strike.”

Sherzad Baban, an uncle of Mohammed, told KirkukNow that, “yesterday [June 16], we filed a lawsuit against the health office in Kifri because the Medico-Legal Department in Sulaimaniyah said that the death of our son resulted from receiving wrong treatment.”

After two days of Mohammed death, the family stormed Kifri’s hospital and damaged properties of the hospitals as pictures and videos show.

“Last night, Mohammed’ mother was not in a good health condition. After visiting graveyard, she fainted. We got scared and took her to the hospital. They did not open the door of the hospital even though the doctors and the nurses were there; we got angry and all of us stormed the hospital, we broke the equipment, the chairs and the windows,” Baban claimed.

Many medical workers in Kifri and the other areas in the Kurdistan Region have gone on strike over the delay of the distribution of their salaries by the Kurdistan Regional Government.


Kifri hospital, after being stormed by Mohammed’s family 

Baban explained that health condition of Mohammed was deteriorated by an injection, which was too strong to be given to a child, adding that his heart lost performance to 15 per cent, while they were taking him from Kifri to Kalar district.

Doctors at a private clinic had diagnosed the child and told his family that he had kidney stones. However, his health remained the same after receiving medications for four days. After that, doctors had done further medical examinations to him and wrote him a prescription that included injections.  Mohammed was injected and his health significantly deteriorated.

His family claimed that he coughed blood on June 14 and said they immediately took the child to Kifri hospital, where the family provided their son with oxygen because the health employee walked out on work. They also added that the oxygen tank emptied and later they took their child home.

They day after, they claim, they took the child to the hospital again but no one provided an ambulance to transfer the child to Kalar hospital, forcing the family to do it with their own car, adding that the child died two hours after being hospitalized in Kalar.

“We have filed a complaint because no one helped us, all of the doctors were present at the hospital, but they did not assist us, and now whatever compensation the government asks for, we are ready to provide.”

Kifri local administration and the security authorities have formed a committee to investigate into the case.

Saman Satip Ahmad, head of the general hospital, named Shahid Khalid Garmyani, told KirkukNow that, “a number of people stormed the hospital and damaged equipment, air conditioners and chairs”

“Because of the pandemic and the strike, people receive no treatment and die… despite the lack of salary, we worked until a few days ago… we are not responsible for the deaths because it is the result of not distributing salaries.”

Ahmad said that people should not storm hospitals to take their rights, while expensive equipment have been broken, which have served everyone.”

Emergency physicians have announced a strike since June 3 and the KRG is yet to distribute their salaries.

“No one has addressed their concern, and I, as the director cannot, force them no to boycott because there are no distribution of salaries,” Ahmad said.

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Kifri general hospital after being stormed by the family 

Despite the medical worker’s strike and the spike in coronavirus cases, the KRG have not announced a date to distribute the salaries of the civil servants including the health employees.

Jalal Noori, the commissioner of Kifri district, said that, “some people have stormed Kifri’s hospital and have caused significant damage to the properties… the director [of the hospital] has filed a lawsuit and investigations are ongoing.”

“Damaging hospitals is a big crime… currently there are strikes in many areas in the region… it is out of our control and we are waiting for a solution.”

KirkukNow reporter contacted the police department, but they declined to give comments on the pretext of ongoing investigations.

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