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Lawsuit for going blind set aside

Lawsuit for going blind set aside

Eba Kandovazu
A PRISONER who was suing the state for allegedly going blind as a result of neglect by prison guards and medical personnel who he claims prescribed TB medication which led to his blindness lost his lawsuit case in the High court.
Jonas Shinana who is serving life in prison for killing his son and daughter and thereafter attempting to commit suicide was suing the Ministry of Safety and Security, the Commissioner General of the Correctional Services and Ministry of Health and Social Services to the tune of N$ 3, 5 million for losing his eyesight.

Pictured: Jonas Shinana – Photo: Eba Kandovazu

His demands were N$2 million for the vision loss, N$1 million for the loss of amenities in life, N$100 000 for post-traumatic stress and N$400 000 for general damages and the wrongful stripping of his dignity.
According to Shinana, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2014. In 2015, his eyesight was diminishing because of the medication he received to treat the TB.
He claims that he was not properly informed that the medication would lead to a situation that he might lose his ability to see.
Shinana has claimed that when he first complained about pain in his eyes to the medical staff at the clinic of the Windhoek Correctional facility, they simply informed him that they saw no trace of any eye or vision problems and that he was pretending.
As a result, he claims the staff only prescribed Panado to him. Two months later, he was informed he had lost 80% of his eyesight.
“As a result of failure of the medical staff to perform their duties in immediately referring me to an eye specialist upon the first complaint, I have suffered irreversible harm to my eyes resulting in vision loss,” Shinana said.
Freddy Kadhila represented the Government in the matter, with Taimi Iileka of the Sisa Namandje firm representing Shinana.
Acting Judge Kaijata Kangueehi will make available the reasoning behind his judgement at a later stage.

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