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Pregnant Woman Abused and Died after Injection in Sittwe Hospital

RB News
April 26, 2014

On April 15th a pregnant woman was taken to Sittwe Hospital to remove miscarried twins from her womb. She was treated roughly by staff at the hospital, denied food, neglected, and then finally died after an injection was administered by the doctor there four days after her arrival. 

On April 15th 18 year old Zura Khatu of Ohn Taw Gyi IDP camp, Sittwe, daughter of Abul Amin, went to Dar Paing clinic, Sittwe, Arakan State. At the time she was nine months pregnant, and was having pain and difficulty delivering child. The clinic informed her that her twins had died in her womb, and that her condition required greater care than they could provide and that she had to go to Sittwe Hospital in order to be treated and recover. Caretakers at Dar Paing Clinic reported that Zura was in a healthy condition, but that they did not have the means to remove the bodies of her twins, or perform surgery. 

Initially Zura’s parents were very reluctant to send her to Sittwe hospital because of the abundance of reports of Rohingya dying or even being killed while in the hospital’s care. As it became clear that Zura had no other option for treatment but to go to Sittwe Hospital, and Zura’s family was witnessing her pain with no adequate treatment available to her, they agreed to send her in hopes she would be safe and would recover. Zura’s family was reassured by security forces that they did not need to worry, and she would likely recover within two days. 

Zura and her caretaker, Mustafa Begum, daughter of Muhammad, Ohn Taw Gyi IDP camp, were taken by police escort then taken to Sittwe hospital. Zura and Mustafa arrived at Sittwe Hospital at around 5pm on April 15th, and Zura was taken for surgery upon arrival. Zura remained unconscious until 11am the following morning. At this time Zura was taken to Mustafa, who reported that she saw signs of beating and scratching on Zura’s face that were not there when Zura had arrived. During her recovery period a doctor came in regularly to treat Zura’s wounds in a way that caused her greater pain and discomfort while he dressed the wounds from her surgery. Mustafa requested the doctor to use greater care, but he ignored her. After her surgery an attendant in the hospital came to take the bodies of the children that had died in Zura’s womb, they were packaged in plastic on the floor. 

The attendant gave the bodies to Mustafa and told her to take them to the Mortuary. Mustafa said that she was afraid to go there alone and requested an escort. The attendant became agitated by this request and then kicked Mustafa to the ground. It was reported the attendant then took the bag with the bodies of the children and threw them into the mortuary. 

While Zura was in the hospital it was reported that she was not given any food or water during her recovery, and that staff in the hospital refused to allow Mustafa to provide this for her. After four days Mustafa encountered another Rohingya Patient from Pauktaw, who she was able to get food from, but even then Mustafa said she was not permitted by the hospital to provide that food to Zura. 

On her final day at the hospital the doctor arrived again, and as he treated Zura’s wounds Zura began to scream in pain. Mustafa again requested the doctor use greater care, but she was ignored. A Zura’s discomfort increased it was reported that the doctor became impatient, and then administered some kind of injection into Zura. It was reported that Zura died very shortly after receiving the shot.

Additional reporting by Saed Arkani.

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