Zambian Stories

Suicidal Lusaka Lawyer Tries To Harm Herself Again While Admitted At Levy Hospital

A SISTER to Lusaka-based lawyer Namwene Kamoto Phiri, who killed her two-year-old-son by poisoning him and attempted to take her own life last week, has applied in the High Court that she be admitted to a mental health facility for mental health care assessment and treatment.

Namwene, a legal counsel at the Food and Reserve Agency (FRA), allegedly administered a poisonous substance on her son and herself and left a suicide note written on February 15, 2022 but she survived.

According to an affidavit filed in the Lusaka High Court principal registry, Esther Phiri Ng’ambi, who has also applied that she be appointed as supporter, stated that she is a biological sister to Namwene and her care giver.

She stated that Namwene was recently admitted for treatment at Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital on February 16, 2021.

Ms Ng’ambi stated that the patient was admitted into hospital following an accident where she appears to have attempted to cause harm to herself by ingesting some harmful substance which caused her to fall severely ill and became unconscious.

She stated that Namwene appears, at intermediate times, to be weak, incoherent and not fully capable of taking her own decisions and is still undergoing treatment for her physical ailments and injuries arising from the incident.

Ms Ng’ambi stated that her sister was moved to Chainama Hills College Hospital on Saturday, February 19 for enhanced health care and is under guard of the Zambia Police Service who have stationed an officer outside her hospital room or accompanying her at all times.

She stated that Namwene had, upon gaining consciousness after the incident at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital attempted to remove her cannula and other medical devices with a view of harming herself.

The applicant also stated that to her knowledge, her sister has not been charged with any criminal offence.

She stated that she believes there was a risk of the patient further attempting to harm herself if she was not examined and assessed fully and properly as to the state of her mental health.

Ms Ng’ambi is seeking an interim order that her sister be forthwith admitted to the care and supervision of the Chainama Hills College Hospital so as to protect the patient from inflicting serious harm to herself, pending further order of the court.

She is also seeking an order that she be appointed as the patient’s supporter within the meaning of the law until further order of the court to represent the patients’ rights and interests.

“An order that the patient is accorded the full privacy, dignity and confidentiality as to her person, her state of health and her personal information, as is her entitlement under the law for the duration she is admitted to a mental health facility, and mental health care is provided to her,” her affidavit further read.

Ms Ng’ambi also wants an order that following the outcome of any relevant mental health care assessment, it is found that there is a risk that the patient may inflict serious harm to herself or others, then a further order be made that the patient be admitted to a mental health facility or such other health facility for her continued care until further order of this court.

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