Senior Resident Magistrate Court in Lilongwe on Friday sentenced Clinical Officer Stain Kalipinde to six years Imprisonment with Hard Labour for attempting to rape a patient.
On 15th December, 2017, Kalipinde who was a clinical Officer at Mchinji District Hospital attempted to have sexual intercourse with a patient without her consent.
The woman, had gone to the hospital because she had been experiencing severe pain in her leg for quite some time.
She was however dumbfounded when she was told by Kalipinde, who was assisting her to remove all her clothes and lay on the examination table so he could take a look at the leg which had been causing her sever pain for years.
To her surprise, the clinical officer removed his gloves and started touching her private parts claiming it was part of the diagnosis process.
“After I removed my clothes, I lay on the examination bed and closed my eyes. I was shocked when the Clinical Officer began to touch my private area. I tried to protest but he assured me that this was the only way he could get to the bottom of what was causing the pain in my legs. When I opened my eyes, I was stunned to find that he had removed his trousers and he was in the process of climbing onto the bed.” She narrated.
The woman protested, and battled with the clinical officer who had locked the door to open the door for her. Kalipinde however argued that what he was doing was part of the treatment. She managed to break free.
Her thigh problem continued, fortunately, while going to the hospital to continue receiving treatment, she saw a poster which alerted her of the presence of a Hospital Ombudsman at the facility. She lodged a complaint with the Hospital Ombudsman.
The Hospital Ombudsman referred the matter to Mchinji Police Station, and a case of attempted rape was consequently opened in line with Section 134 of the Penal Code.
In submission, the state pleaded for a custodial sentence considering that Kalipinde breached the code of conduct. Kalipinde has been sentenced to six years imprisonment with hard labour.
This is an example of the ills which are happening in public hospitals. Sexual abuse in government hospitals is a reality, normally buried within the precincts of many health facilities in which victims rarely report even after being treated or discharged. Many times, victims choose to suffer in silence rather than risk attracting public ridicule when the truth is disclosed.
However, with the introduction of the Hospital Ombudsman, victims finally have a public protector. The Hospital Ombudsman platform will ensure that health workers are adhering to their working standards, rules & regulations in order to improve service delivery in public hospital.Published by: Khumbo Mwalwimba