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Dad, 35, died at home just 10 hours after being told he had a chest infection at GP surgery.

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A grieving widow has told how her 35-year-old husband died just 10 hours after going to his GP surgery where he was diagnosed with a chest infection.

Paul Hardy, a father-of-one, from Biddulph, Staffordshire, was prescribed antibiotics and referred for an x-ray during that final consultation .

His wife, Rachel Hardy, 35, found him dead at their home that night as she put their daughter, Gabriella, aged 9, to bed.

Medical tests found Paul had died from sepsis – also known as septicaemia or blood poisoning, the reports said.

Following yesterday’s inquest, Rachel, said: “I am utterly devastated by Paul’s death and so is my daughter and we loved him immensely.

“It is still hard to believe that he is gone and incredibly difficult to come to terms with the fact that I have lost my dear husband, who I expected to grow old with, and Gabriella has lost her doting father.”

The inquest heard Paul twice visited Biddulphdoctors, which is within Biddulph Primary Care Centre, in the four days before his death after becoming ill with cold symptoms.

At his first appointment with a nurse practitioner on Friday, February 17, the inquest heard he was not showing signs of infection and his illness was thought to be a virus.

He was advised to rest and take over-the-counter remedies and went to bed believing he had flu.

His condition worsened over the weekend, with his symptoms including high temperature, a chesty cough, aches and vomiting and diarrhoea.

On Monday, February 20 he returned to the surgery and saw a different nurse practitioner, who checked his temperature, heart rate, oxygen levels and listened to his chest.

The nurse diagnosed a chest infection, prescribed antibiotics and referred Paul, who was asthmatic, for a chest x-ray at a walk-in centre.

The nurse told the inquest: “When I saw him he did not show sepsis symptoms. I understood he was going to go for the x-ray straight away.”

But Rachel says she and her husband were advised he could not be x-rayed until his temperature had gone down, and that he felt too unwell to go right away. Instead they returned to their Lucerne Drive home and Paul went to bed.

Rachel said: “He was restless. At 6pm I took him some food. I propped him up and fed it to him.”

After leaving him to rest, Rachel returned to their room at 8.10pm.

“When I walked in I knew he wasn’t breathing,” she said. “He was lay there like he was asleep. I rang an ambulance and his mum and I started CPR.”

Paul was pronounced dead at 8.48pm. A post-mortem examination revealed he had an abscess on his lung, which was partly collapsed. The cause of death was given as sepsis due to streptococcus pneumonia with abscess formation.

Sepsis sees the body’s immune system go into overdrive as it tries to fight an infection, reducing the blood supply to vital organs. Without quick treatment, it can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Biddulphdoctors senior partner Dr Philip Turner described Paul’s death as a ‘tragic, tragic case’.

He said: “The evidence suggests it was a streptococcal infection and it was very progressively aggressive. I can’t see anything obvious that my colleagues haven’t done that I think they should have.”

All front-line surgery staff have received sepsis training since Paul’s death.

North Staffordshire coroner Ian Smith said he believed the sepsis and Paul’s collapsed lung had developed after he had been seen by the nurse on February 20.

He said: “My reading of the situation is that, at that time, he didn’t have the abscess formation to the extent it was later, he didn’t have the collapsed lung. That must have occurred afterwards.

“He was still sitting up and eating, albeit supported, at 6pm. He went to sleep and a very significant event occurred which took his life. I don’t think it is right to criticise anyone for what happened.”

Mr Smith also noted that Paul’s blood pressure was not checked by the nurses, but said he did not believe it would have made a difference.

Following the hearing, family lawyer Margaret Ryan said: “The inquest into Paul’s death has highlighted issues where we feel lessons can be learned.

“Communication appears to have been an issue, particularly regarding the urgent need for the x-ray. It’s important that communication with patients is absolutely clear, and that the patient is made fully aware of the need for further treatment, to avoid a situation like this reoccurring.

“We are looking into whether there is a civil claim as to whether anything could have been done to prevent Paul’s death.”

Rachel added: “While nothing will bring Paul back, it is vital that patient safety and care is improved so that what happened to Paul never happens to other families.”

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Motherland News

Malawi to Consider a New Typhoid Vaccine

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Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) Aziza Mwisongo has advised the Ministry of health to speedily consider adopting for the new typhoid vaccine.

Mwisongo said Typhoid is an epidemic in Malawi, with research showing that more than 16,000 cases are reported every year.

Mwisongo was speaking in Mponela on Wednesday during a workshop organized by Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) to brief health practitioners on the importance of the new typhoid vaccine called Typbar-TCV.

She said drug resistance has caused typhoid incidence in Malawi to increase over the past years and an estimated 64 percent of typhoid cases and 67 percent of typhoid deaths occur in children under 15 years of age.

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“While typhoid is rarely fatal, the recovery is long and difficult, the disease takes time, money, and productivity from those infected and their families it is associated with numerous, long-term complications,” she said

She said the Typbar-TCV is a typhoid conjugate vaccine (TCV) and is effective in the sense that it has a longer lasting protection, require fewer doses, and reduces the need for antibiotics, slow further emergence of drug-resistant typhoid strains and save lives.

Mwisongo said the vaccine is suitable for children 6 months of age and older, and offers protection for at least 3 years to adults and infants over 6 months of age.

“In Malawi, TyVAC and project partners are studying how well TCVs prevent typhoid in children between 9 months and 12 years of age as well as the safety, impact, and cost of the vaccine,” she said

She added, “While the WHO already recommends TCV introduction in all typhoid epidemic countries, this additional evidence will help inform ongoing decisions about TCV vaccination in low and middle income countries.”

Deputy Director in the Ministry of Health and population responsible for immunology Matthew Kagoli acknowledged the importance of the typhoid vaccine saying the disease was serious in the country because it affected people in communities as outbreaks.

Kagoli said with the available data it is undoubtedly true that the country needs the vaccine, but further consultations have to be done before adopting the vaccine in the country.

“The vaccine is important and the country will benefit from it but further and thorough consultations need to be done before we take a stand as a country regarding the vaccine,” he said

Typhoid is an enteric fever caused by Salmonella Typhi, it is spread through contaminated food and water and is a substantial public health issue in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Nigeria: BOD Okays Hijab for Muslim barred from call to bar

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A female law student barred from the country’s call to bar last year for wearing the Muslim head covering has been asked to attend the ceremony billed for later this year.

Firdaus Amasa was denied access to the call to bar ceremony in the capital Abuja for insisting on wearing her religious head covering in the hall, triggering a backlash from the country’s Muslim community which accused the law school of religious discrimination.

The controversy has led to lawsuits, especially after the parliament called a public hearing on the issue.

But president of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), Kamal Dawud, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that Amasa has now been granted approval to attend the legal ritual later this year.

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“The Body of Benchers (BOD) met today to discuss the report of a committee established to look at the call to bar of Amasa,” he said. “To the best of my knowledge, the report was not considered for one reason or the other. But they resolved that the girl should be called to bar with her head covered at the next call to bar event,” according to the law professor.

“It’s a victory because what we are saying is that she has her rights and should not be denied such rights under whatever guise. This is a right donated by the Constitution. The only institution that has the say over interpretation of the constitution and the only institution empowered to make pronouncements on whether any law or act is consistent with the Constitution or not is the court and so far the decisions of the court of appeal are in favor of the hijaab.”

The BOD, an ultra-conservative body of current and retired senior judges and lawyers, has the final say on the codes applicable for the legal profession in Nigeria.

The MULAN, along with the country’s Muslim community, championed the #JusticeForFridaus campaign to have Amasa called to the bar as well as scrap whatever laws that proscribe the use of the head covering at such events.

An appeals court in 2016 held that the head covering is a fundamental human rights of every female Muslim and may be worn anywhere of her choice, striking down a government circular that had restricted its use in the public school.

The government has appealed the ruling at the Supreme Court.

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Opposition leader Bemba expected ahead of DR Congo presidential elections.

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Congolese opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba, whose war crimes convictions were quashed last month, is expected to return to Congo next month for a party congress to select a candidate for December’s presidential vote, a party spokesman said on Friday.

Bemba, a former rebel leader and vice president, left Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2007 and spent the last 10 years in prison in The Hague. He is currently free in Belgium pending a hearing on a separate conviction for witness tampering.



Last week, the Congolese Foreign Affairs Minister Leonard She Okitundu said the former Vice President ‘may return’ to the country if he wishes. Okitundu who did not specify whether Bemba will be prosecuted by the Congolese justice system, said Bemba ‘left on his own will, and that he can return if he wants to’.

Bemba’s return would introduce yet another factor to consider in DRC’s complex political crisis that has seen Kabila stay on as president despite the fact that his second an final term of office ended in 2016.

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While elections have been scheduled for Decemeber this year, the opposition have repeatedly protested Kabila’s refusal to outrightly rule himself out of the contest.

Bemba has since Friday been on bail in Belgium pending a final decision on his punishment, according to the International Criminal Court( ICC).

The ICC acquitted Bemba of crimes against humanity and war crimes but not in the case of bribery of witnesses.

The court issued “specific conditions” for his provisional release after ten years of detention, including “not changing address without notice”.

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