Deceased’s relatives accuse Health Professionals Council of protecting Dr Francis Manda

Doctor Francis Manda
Doctor Francis Manda

THE family of a patient whose death is believed to have been caused by a medical doctor who operated on him, has accused the Health Professionals Council of Zambia of dragging its feet on punishing the doctor.

The family of Dapson Mwendafilumba has written to the HPCZ, wondering why disciplinary action has not been taken against Dr Francis Manda, a renowned urologist.

Mr Lupiya Mwendafilumba, one of the deceased’s brothers, says in a statement issued to the Zambia Daily Mail that the HPCZ is allegedly protecting Dr Manda by failing to discipline him.

Mr Mwendafilumba accused the HPCZ of deliberately withholding disciplinary sanctions against Dr Manda to protect his career.

He said his family is demanding that the decision of the HPCZ disciplinary committee be released so that justice can be done.

Dr Manda is alleged to have caused the death of Mr Mwendafilumba when he conducted an operation which later led to a complication.

Dr Manda conducted the operation on Mr Mwendafilumba in January 2009 at Lusaka Trust Hospital.

Mr Mwendafilumba’s family says Dr Manda took six hours to conduct an operation that should normally have lasted two hours.

In a letter dated October 9, 2009 to Dr Manda captioned `Outcome of the disciplinary committee meeting’, the HPCZ admits that there was error in judgement on the part of Dr Manda in conducting the operation.

HPCZ registrar Mary Zulu said in the letter that Dr Manda had ‘failed to respond to a warning of physical signs of abdominal distention’ Mr Mwendafilumba had during the operation.

Dr Zulu states in the letter that Dr Manda had decided to continue with the operation even after Mr Mwendafilumba had shown physical signs of abdominal distension.

The HPCZ disciplinary committee held on September 16, 2009 found Dr Manda wanting. It cautioned and “postponed” him for a period of 12 months.

“Reference is made to the complaint made against you in which you were alleged to have failed to respond to a physical sign of abdominal distension which Mr Dapson Mwendafilumba had but continued with the same treatment. The disciplinary committee meeting held on September 16, 2009 resolved that you be cautioned and postponed for a period not exceeding one year,” Dr Zulu said in the letter to Dr Manda.

Asked to comment on the family’s letter, Dr Zulu said she would make a comprehensive reaction to the allegations after formal communication from the Mwendafilumba family.

Dr Zulu said she needs to look at the letter from the family of Mr Mwendafilumba before she can make any official comment on the matter.

“Dr Francis Manda in January 2009 operated single-handedly on our brother Dapson Mwendafilumba at Lusaka Trust Hospital who died two months later in South Africa of sepsis, arising from post operative complications,” Mr Mwendafilumba said.

When contacted for a comment, Dr Manda demanded to talk to the Zambia Daily Mail managing director or the Ministry of Health permanent secretary.

Management at the Lusaka Trust Hospital could not confirm the concerns because the chief executive officer, a DrSiwale, was out of office.

[Zambia Daily Mail]


  1. Am abit confused with the issue. Is it because he operated single handedly or is it because he died of post operative complication, namely sepsis??

  2. “Dr Francis Manda in January 2009 operated single-handedly on our brother Dapson Mwendafilumba at Lusaka Trust Hospital

  3. this is nonsense, i do not know of any surgical procedure which does not carry  sepsis as a possible  complication. dr manda, god bless him, should not even respond to any of these fly by night journalists. thats why its important to take time giving information about treatments to patients. i only hope the informed consent form they signed included sepsis as a complication

  4. Well, this really should be a non issue even though the head of HPCZ was schooled, titored and mentored by Dr Manda. I doubt there is an Doctor that has ever or never killed anyone by mistake. They all have done it and for your own information all the best Doctors even the best surgeon in the world have boobed on one thing or another. It is a question of how many successful operations somebody has done. It is about probability. Even the best drugs today don’t cure all people 100 %

    Leave the doctor alone. Death comes to all even Chiluba with a Doctor on call 24 hours did not help him

  5. Do medical Doctors in Zambia have medical malpractice insurance? Take a legal suit and if your claims are genuine, seek compensation. It is about time doctors are held accountable for negligence. Vote wisely!

  6. The problem of  abdominal distension seems to have started in the operating room and Mr Manda as he likes to be called, continued with his planned operation. He should questioned himself the cause of that distension when patient was still on operating table. Trusting one doctor to carry out an operation is very dangerous. He should explain why the operation took so long, what was he doing alone on a patient for that period? Another problem with Dr Manda’s qualification is that he did not do general surgery before specialising in urology. He went straight to become a urologist. To qualify as an urologist you MUST study general surgery first and that takes a at least five years. School of medicine and other surgeons know that Dr Manda is not well baked surgeon.

  7. This is why we need investigative and special (health) journalists, and the right to information bill. This story is aimed at destroying Dr Manda’s reputation. The question the journalist was supposed to ask before publishing this article are as follows:-
    1. Did the relatives sign the surgery consent form?
    2. Were they told about the possible complications?
    3. What was the indication for surgery?
    4. Was the abdominal distension a contra-indication for surgery?
    5. How did the patient find himself in South Africa? 6. What type of management the patient had in SA?

    The patient didn’t die on the operating table, and we are not told the condition of the patient immediately after surgery. This is nonsense, leave Dr. Manda alone, and big mouthed Mary Zulu must be careful .

  8. The Journalistic abilities of ZaDaMa staffers leaves much to be desired.
    Any death in a place where people should get better is a tragedy and whether negligent or not, the bereaved family needs to be handled sensitively.
    1. The surgical operation took place at Lusaka Trust Hospital, which is private, so what has the Permanent secretary of MOH got to do with it?
    2. Dr Siwale is not UTH CEO but Lusaka Trust.
    3. The Medical Council of Zambia found Dr Manda wanting, so what sanctions did it proscribe for the erring doctor?
    4. Lusaka Trust should have a PR department to speak on the behalf of Dr Manda, if he was employed or not, if he was a contractor.
    5. The Medical Council of Zambia response, clearly demonstrate a tort so the family should go to court for redres

  9. 6. A peri-operative mortality is a death which occurs within 2 weeks of surgery. The deceased died 2 months llater, so by definition, this is not directly due to the surgery.

  10. Just as many have have said,surgery does not just involve one person,how can he conduct an operation alone,it is impossible.Yes we understand the surgeon will be the one responsible for the actual inversive procedure but he will need an anasthetists,a theatre Nurse or two and auxillary workers.I believe the patient signed a concent form which clearly protects the team from surgical and anasthetic complications.The patient died two months after the operations from allerged Sepsis,one needs to acertain were this sepsis was got from,is it from the hospital or home enviroment?All these may be possible causes than blaming an individual.The other question that comes into play is how old the patient was,the older one is the more susceptible they become to Surgical complications,i believe our desa

  11. Correct me if I am wrong,the dangers and complications of a surgery or operation are explained in detail to the patient well in advance before the operation. Further the patient and his/her family are required to sign a consent form for the operation so that in case anything goes wrong, the surgeon won’t be blamed.

  12. THE SAINT # I like the way you have analyzed these case. But again i would prefer being operated from private hospital unlike UTH because at UTH its a teaching hospital and most DOC are juniors who want to experience on a patient so that they can be awarded their degrees. most patient don’t make it at UTH. these junior doctors get too excited. unless you arrange for a senior and old doctor. death can be avoided for sure. Too bad for Mwendafilumba family.

  13. Fellow Zambians its high time Dr Manda retired. The man is always drunk. Most VIPs I have mingled with in Zed who done to the same Doctor for postrate cancer oparation have complained of post -oparartion complications. The Man Dr manda is ussually drunk as early as 09 00hrs. Lock him up!!!

  14. Its always sad to lose a relative especially when it could have been avoided. However every operation comes with risks and sepsis is high on the list.Indeed Dr Manda is way more senior than Mary Zulu.So lets see how this plays out.AS for #12 please do not use this platform to publicize your ignorance.Where do you think those docs at private hospitals got their experience from? every doctor starts off being a junior doctor and we ‘practise’ on real people.

  15. Single handed operation? What does this mean? Can a doctor carry out an operation without theatre nurses, anaesthethists, etc. How possible is this? Its time media bodies started employing specialist journalists who can investigate and analyse data before rushing to publish crap. When you agree to be operated on you consent to any outcome wheather death or whatever. This is an incompetent article which lacks direction and substance. The jorunalist should have done a better job. Ask me to mark the article I give you a D.

  16. It is very difficult to prove medical malpractice or negligence and lets just be practical we have very few doctors in our country and if we started punishing them i.e suspending them from practice everyone would be scared and in the end we shall have very expensive health services and very few doctors will actually be carrying out operations. The Mwendafilumba family must sue the hospital since the operation was done during the course of employment by Dr Manda unless it was a private arrangement between the family and Dr Manda.

  17. Total nonsense, unless he forcibly operated on that patient without consent then i say its nonsense! Urological surgeries are always very complex. What is that abdominal disrtension ????? IS that anasthetists area of concern?, These relatives of deceased are just crazy people with a lot of guilt issues.

  18. Imwe where did manda do his urology? Mu zambia akeyenda ku chita one year diploma pa uk ati ni urologist/ neurosurgeon/ cardiologist etc, nonsense! As far as im concerned zambia has no specialists worth their salt. And a lot of those useless former soviet doctors are useless , so called foreign specialists. Real specialists dont last long in zambia, either frustrated by those bafoons called colleagues or run away to greener pastures.

  19. The whole scenario is just a circus please ha ha ha! Mary Zulu …., oh my Gosh. I will keep quiet and let these good people carry on this freak show.

  20. I have lost relatives before as a esult of being operated on.My personal experience an operation is carried out after the patient or a close relative signs a consert order. Should any operation go wrong then the doctor and his team are protected. As for Dr. Manda I have heard from friends who doctors at UTH that the senior doctor is no longer the same in terms of performance. On the cause of brother Dapson Mwendafilumba’s death I am a close relative and would not comment much as I may be baised. I leave this to competent men and women to comment.

  21. @ Juzz I was thinking in the same line.How possible is it for does a doctor to perform an operation single-handed,without the team?The article was poorly done.

  22. Imwe dont beat about the bush, I know the dead guy. he had full-blown fimo fimo. Do you exoect him to have a good Post Operation healing

  23. This is cheap propaganda. Dr. Manda is a well trained and qualified doctor who can’t be smeared with filthy in such a manner. The family signed the consent form meaning that they undertook to accept which ever way the operation was going to go. ZaDaMa as usual propagating propaganda just coz Dr Manda has been vocal against certain govt policies. You can’t bring a good man down. To hell with you haters of our beloved doctor

  24. My father in Law had prostrate cancer at age 67, It was discovered early. He was operated on by Doctors at UTH and I am sure Dr. Manda was one of them. He is now getting to 79. It is important to go for medical checks every year so that cancers when discovered early can be treated. Its no use going for an operation when the cancer has spread. In addition how many Zambians have been to RSA and others even went to a Franch Military Hospital, perhaps the best in the world and come back as cargo? Lets not blame Dr. Manda or any of our UTH Doctors they are doing good under very difficult conditions. The issue is prevention.

  25. Signing a consent form does not completely absorb the medical staff. If the surgery is carried out with due diligence and in the normal course of things, there will be no blame apportioned. But if it is shown that there was gross negeligence or sheer incompetence, the medical staff may be liable.

  26. does signing any consent form give a Doctor the right to be boo booling? You junior doctors i invite you to come to park clinic S.A to learn.Guys here they dont play around, thats why your ministers always come here instead of buying equipment in UTH

  27. #29 Muzo I totally agree with you,Zambian doctors have taken peoples’ lives for granted .zambian die very easily from very minor operations because so called competent doctor who actually not.Reading this sad story i know how the family feels and for them to continue to persue the case almost two years down there is a lot more than the eye meets.Lets wait for the court case more beans will be spilled .Government pays a lot of more to these so called specialists who are busy doing shooddy operations on the people,enough is enough.They must be accountable for their acts and omissions period,Manda this is your time bwana.

  28. May I declare my interest that Iam Redgeway trained Dr currently pracitising in UK as Family Physician, Mr Manda being one of my former trainers. Most of the time he was the only Urologist in the whole country. The news report does not say why the Dr should be implicated because there is no mention of a Post-Mortem report. This is an examination of dead body to find the cause of death. Swelling of abdomen during operation can be caused by number of things, most common and likely from what I have read is “gas in stomach”. In this case usually caused by tube in food pipe instead of wind pipe to give patient oxygen while he was put to sleep. Unlikely Dr Manda gave anaesthesia and operate at the same time, someone should have been giving anaesthesia. LT what is pathology resul?

  29. Sorry I shut my mouth, I did not know case before the courts thanks to Muzo, in this case I advise people to refrain from commenting if case before the courst of law. Everybody deserves a fair trial.

  30. rest in peace uncle dapson, the pipo th@ never knew u can never undastand the pain u went thru.. But God o myty the defender ov the innocent will give us justice if nt in this lyf then the next u are loved n missed n u went 2 b wit ur lord and saviour Jesus Christ happily praising him

  31. Manzi Valley Doc! Suing the Doc won’t bring back your dead loved one. No poetic justice in this case.

  32. #20 I think you need to ask around about Dr. Manda’s CV. I certainly don’t think that he is a fly by night Urologist as you would like to put it. The report says there was an error in judgement and that Dr Manda was cautioned and postponed whatever that means. I am not sure what action the deceased family wants to be done. Whether its to have Dr. Manda imprisoned or have his medical licence revolved katwishi!

  33. You will never know may also the family of the dease forced Dr Manda to do the oparation.Dr Manda just did his professional job to his best leavel

  34. Is this the same Sepsis the Lozi old man died of a couple of months ago? Where is the paper that digs deeper? Has itb laid off it diggers? Refresh my memory bloggers.

  35. Mistakes can be made guys, even Dr are human. Go and find a case with child molesters, leave Dr Manda alone. He agreed to operate of the patient and patient died months later. This person did not die on the operating table. Dr Manda is a Very good doctor, good surgeon, it is unfortunate that his patient died. The problem with Zambians is that when a person dies, they must find someone to blame, even if that person is far away, ati ni so-na-so – it is a sick and rotten culture

  36. This is waht is required in Zambia. Too many of our Doctors do not care for patients. There are terrible experiences of Doctors not responding to sick people quickly enough and this results in loss of life. Its high time our Doctors started reacting properly otherwise they went into the wrong field. Much as I do appreciate that we are in the third world where equipment is an issue, our Doctors should just show great concern by there actions to our patients. We see a lot of good reactions on TVs. Our Doctors should do then same. There are a number of comments from supposedly Doctors on this article. Please you are meant to save our lives!!

  37. Guys its called Prostate not prostrate cancer. I dont see the negligence in this case, distension does not necessarily equate to infection. Operating single handedly, a bit tricky but there are no rules that you must always have an assitant. Let the family stay quite…..

  38. The chap who was ‘rescusitating ‘ FTJ on his own looks more in deep waters than Manda in the theatre with a thetre nurse and anaethetist.

  39. Even the best surgeons in the world lose patients every now and then.

    In this case, Dr. Manda appears to be a patient himself. He may not be in physical shape to withstand 6 hours of surgery.

  40. A consent form is signed by the patient to allow the surgeon to operate on the person who has signed the consent. sometimes consent forms are signed by relatives on behalf of patients. However this is not a consent to be killed on the operating table. Signing a consent form does not give a right to the surgeon to be careless. If the operation has gone wrong due to some negligence by staff then disciplinary action is inevitable. Relatives or patient can sue as well. Some thing went wrong, abdominal distension on the operating table was not an expected outcome especially to a patient undergoing urological operation. AS ZAMBIAN PATIENTS WE MUST START KNOWING OUR RIGHTS, SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED WITH HIV DUE TO BLOOD TRANSFUSION BUT WE KEEP QUIET. DOCTORS ARE HUMAN BEINGS TOO

  41. Be careful with Doctors trained in Russia or East Germany during socialism period.Doctors came to zambia with Diplomas but allowed to oprate as medical practioners.5yrs trained out that one year is to leran the only 4yrs of training.

  42. #49 Uli chikopo sana. It is not the diploma issue, but skills and competences! Even the Royal College of Surgeons in UK issue diplomas. Diplomas are just pieces of paper! There are highly skilled Russian trained doctors!!!!

  43. Zambians be grateful! This is currently the only renowned Urologist in the whole country. The risks are clearly explained to the patient before operation who has to sign a form. A lot of people have been trained and treated by Doctor Manda. This man puts his job before family and goes out of his way to help people. Sorry for your loss…it is not easy to lose a family member but Doctor Manda can surely not save everyone. What I know is he is by far one of the best Doctors in Zambia to date.

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