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Dr. Ssali’s case pushed to FebruaryPublish Date: Dec 11, 2013
Dr. Ssali’s case pushed to February
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Fertility doctor Edward Tamale Ssali

By Michael Odeng

The hearing of defense in which fertility doctor Edward Tamale Ssali who is accused of causing a patient's death failed to take-off because the state prosecutor was absent.

The trial chief magistrate of Buganda Road court, Olive Kazaarwe Mukwaya on Monday adjourned the case to February 20, 2014 for defense hearing.

State prosecutor Stephen Asaba was expected to prosecute the case while MacDosman Kabega and Henry Kyarimpa were supposed to defend the suspects. However there is no way defense hearing could proceed without the presence of the state attorney.

Doctor Ssali and his co-accused, Nsambya hospital anaesthetic Christopher Kirunda had appeared in court to defend themselves against charges of causing the death of one Mercy Ayiru, by inserting the anaesthesia tube into her throat instead of the trachea.

Court last month ruled that the renowned Kampala gynecologist and his team had a case to answer and should defend themselves. They were given a chance to present a maximum of five defense witnesses to court for defense purposes.

According to prosecution, the doctors caused the death of one Ayiru, during an operation to fibroids called laparoscopic myomectomy at the Women’s Hospital International and fertility center, then called Kampala Gynecology and Fertility Centre in October 2010.

It further states that the suspects failed to ensure that the tube supposed to supply oxygen and anesthesia to the patient’s lungs inserted properly into the deceased’s trachea, before embarking on the surgery.

Prosecution also found out that the fertility clinic where Ayiru died corroborated a report stated that Mercy’s heart slowed down before death and post-mortem showed that the body had a cut just above the naval (umbilicus).

Doctor Parkar Rafigue who carried out the operation was banned from practicing medicine in Uganda by the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council for five years.

Both Dr. Ssali and Kirunda denied responsibility for the 2010 mysterious death of the woman in their clinic on their first court appearance.

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