Featured Highlands News Your Vote 2017

Wabag Hospital Rampage

Wabag hospital is still closed after supporters of a Regional Candidate in Enga Province stormed in and destroyed it after the declaration of the Enga Governor’s seat.

Three babies died instantly while still in their incubators, and there were unconfirmed reports of patients dying during and after the rampage.

These are some of the accounts by doctors, nurses and hospital security, recounting what happened two weeks ago.

More than 150 patients, doctors, nurses, hospital staff, security guards, and guardians of patients fell victim to the hands of supporters of a candidate, who came second in the race for the Enga Regional seat.

Everyone at the hospital witnessed more than a thousand men enter into the hospital after they learnt about the declaration of Sir Peter Ipatas as Governor-elect for Enga.

The Pharmacy at the hospital was the first to be broken into and set alight.

Sister Christee Lombe recalled, she was trying to deliver her first grandson when the incident happened.

While the men were attacking patients and hospital staff, Sister Christee persisted and took her daughter in law into the delivery room, blocked all the doors as tight as she could, and assisted the daughter-in-law to deliver as quickly as they could. It was a normal working day for them.

As usual they were operating on patients, delivering babies, and doing ward rounds when the incident happened.

A senior sergeant, Dr Timothy Piyakau and his team were in the middle of an operation when the men stormed in and attacked them and their patients.

Dr Piyakau took some of the patients in his vehicle and rushed them to a health centre at Wapenamanda district; 20 to 30 minutes drive East of Enga.

Caught unawares of the incident, another Doctor, Solomon Kalit’s vehicle was set alight.

Dr Kalit said the incident happened so quickly as there were over a thousand men who entered in and ransacked the hospital. Security guards also witnessed pregnant mothers delivering babies along the main road while escaping.

Security guards were outnumbered before the security forces were called in. The guards witnessed the men removing breathing masks from babies who were sleeping in the incubators in the nursery room. This is the second week after the incident happened, and the hospital is still closed.

Doctors and nurses are traumatized, and some have left the province.

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