Men-C death raises concern at nursing school

Davendra Murti (right), the father of Donisha Murti who died of Men-C in Labasa, has expressed serious concerns about what he claims is the lack of care by the nursing school. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

STUDENTS at the Sangam College of Nursing and Health Care Education were immunised against meningococcal disease 21 hours after one of them contracted the deadly illness and died last month. Donisha Devnisha Murti, 21, a final year nursing student, fell ill on the morning of Wednesday, May 30. At about 8am, her flatmate took her to a private doctor who diagnosed her with possible dengue fever. Seven hours later, she was rushed to the Labasa Hospital where she died from meningococcal disease. Donisha’s father, Devendra Murti had raised serious concerns about what he claimed was a lack of care by the school. He said the nursing school should have organised vaccination for students soon as the meningococcal outbreak began in March this year. “Why did they wait until someone died? Why did it have to take my daughter’s death for the school to do something about it?” Mr Murti said. “I also want to know why the school didn’t organise for Donisha to be taken to the hospital instead of a private doctor.” In response, Sangam College of Nursing and Health Care Education director Eleni Kata said the decision to go to a general practitioner instead of hospital was at the discretion of the student. “The college received a call from her flatmate on Wednesday May 30 before 8am, saying that Donisha was feeling sick and would not be appearing for her second paper (end of semester exams were on),” she said. “The lecturer then advised the flatmate to take Donisha to the doctor as soon as possible, and to produce a sick sheet when she returns to college upon recovery. “College policy is that once a student calls in sick, he or she is advised to immediately seek medical attention and it is the prerogative of the student whether they seek medical consultation from a private medical practitioner or from the government medical facilities.” Ms Kata added that an emergency meeting was held with Health Ministry staff members immediately after Donisha’s death. “As a result, immediate mass vaccination of her classmates and all who were in close contact with her over the past few days was conducted from 1pm – 2pm on Thursday May 31 — approximately 21 hours later. The remaining staff and students were all immunised by 4pm on Friday June 1 — two days later,” she said. “Interviews were conducted by the Ministry of Health staff with all the deceased’s friends who were in her company over the past week or so before this unfortunate incident occurred.”