by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE Ministry of Health and Social Services is investigating a complaint by a mother who says her baby did not die of Covid-19 as the government announced on Saturday.

GOODBYE SHILOH … Baby Shiloh-Dane Ponhele Kosmas (inset), who died
on 21 August, was buried on Friday in Windhoek.
NO CAUSE INDICATED … Baby Shiloh-Dane Ponhele Kosmas’ death certificate does not specify his cause of death.

Ndillimekkeh Kanyumbo (26) told The Namibian yesterday her three-month-old son died in her arms of what health minister Kalumbi Shangula said was Covid-19.

“I was holding my son’s lifeless body in my arms, saying he would wake up, he’s just sleeping,” she said.

Kanyumbo said Shiloh-Dane Ponhele Kosmas, her son, was a jovial baby.

She maintains he died due to negligence, instead of Covid-19.

Baby Shiloh fell sick after his scheduled three-month immunisation conducted on 17 August at the Hakahana Clinic in Windhoek.

He died on 21 August, Kanyumbo said.

“Shiloh became very sick after the immunisation. He was crying incessantly and was feverish. His condition did not improve until he died. I am in shock,” she said.

“This is so hurtful. My baby died in my arms. His lifeless body became cold in my arms while I was hoping he would wake up. This really hurts,” Kanyumbo said.

She added: “His death certificate does not even indicate the cause of death. The officials at the morgue even allowed some family members to identify Shiloh, and my aunt, who had gone there, even touched the body. Why did they allow that if they say he died of Covid-19?” she asked.

The heartbroken mother said despite the ministry attributing her baby’s passing to Covid-19, the rest of the family have not been quarantined.

“I am sharing my story because I do not want other mothers to ever experience this pain,” Kanyumbo said.

She wanted a dignified funeral for Shiloh, who was buried on 28 August, but the state handled it ‘nonchalantly’, she said.

“We buried my son at the Oponganda cemetery and I wanted to put a tombstone on his grave, but I have to wait for six months. The officials just came to bury him and left his grave unmarked,” she said.

Shiloh’s father, Kosmas Kristoms (28), said it is concerning that health officials informed them the baby died of the novel coronavirus, but did not tell the family to quarantine themselves.

Nor did they ask the family to be tested for the virus.

“Additionally, the family was given the baby’s body to observe. This questions whether the baby died of Covid-19 or whether there is a cover-up somewhere,” he said.

Kristoms said the family will meet to consider lodging a complaint against the clinic which administered the immunisation.

“We are doubting that our baby died of Covid-19, and we want the truth. Our son died around 04h00 on 21 August in his mother’s arms, and this is affecting our minds,” he said.

Shangula yesterday said his ministry has launched an investigation into the matter.

“Once the investigations are finalised, we will have the report and make it public in due course. However, for now we are in touch with the affected family,” he said, declining to comment further.

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