IGMH to strengthen enforcement of protocols regarding drugs, injections over Lamha’s case

Marvin S. Y. Vargas (L) and Haleemath Lamha Abdul Rahman (R).

Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) has stated that they are probing and also will take the necessary actions pertaining to the discovery of injections and drugs not authorized to be taken out of the hospital during a search of the Haleemath Lamha Abdul Rahman’s bedroom, the Maldivian nurse arrested in connection to the death of Mary Grace Oned Pineda; a Filipino nurse working at the hospital.

Murder charges have been filed against Mary’s husband, Marvin S. Y. Vargas and his lover, Lamha, in connection to Mary’s death. Lamha is also charged with two additional crimes; knowingly taking unauthorized control over the property of another after the police found two injections from IGMH which she had not been authorized to take out of the hospital hidden in an envelope in her bedroom and carrying out an activity that requires permission from an authority, without obtaining permission from the relevant authority after police found a type of drug issued only for the use of hospitals and health facilities during a search of her bedroom. 

Lamha faces 4 months and 24 days in prison if convicted of both these charges.

The existence of the probability to be able to smuggle unauthorized items from hospitals, out of the premises, is an extremely serious matter.

When questioned regarding the matter by Sun, IGMH said that they have investigated the case and are working with the relevant authorities to take the necessary actions.

They also stressed that they are taking preventive measures to ensure such a thing does not repeat again.

“Efforts to minimize the odds of a staff carrying out such an act in the future include the strengthening the enforcement of protocols currently in place at the hospital, introducing new protocols and enforcing them,” the hospital detailed.

Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH). (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

In responding to an additional question posed by Sun, IGMH said that they have definitive protocols laid down regarding the handling of drugs, injections and such – with special protocols in place for high alert and narcotic medications and injections.

“However, it is possible to come across circumstances in which some regulations and protocols are not enforced flawlessly as this hospital is a place which provides a magnitude of services to a large number of people every single day, with individuals relevant some fundamental jobs working hefty hours,” they had said.

IGMH further stated that individuals with access to such drugs and injections are only given access after taking an oath, on the condition to adhere to many ethical guidelines in addition to being bestowed the trust of the hospital as well as the whole society.

“It is not completely possible to stop someone who has access to these drugs and injections from taking it home, or misusing it. Even though definitive protocols are in place and enforced, it is safe to say that this is just not possible,” they added.

Lamha has previously confirmed to Sun that police had seized her phone, laptop, injections and drugs after a search of her living quarters.

However, she claimed that she was using the injections and the drugs seized under doctor’s advice. She further detailed that the injection was used under doctor’s advice as she had trouble sleeping during the period Male’ City was in lockdown in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lamha is accused of co-conspiring with Marvin to murder Mary, and assisting in and facilitating her murder – therefore being charged as an accomplice to murder with intent. She faces minimum 6 years in prison if convicted of the charge. 

Marvin was charged with murder with intent. He is suspected of injuring Mary’s head and neck, and strangling her to death in her apartment on the first floor of Ma. Udhuheykokaage in Male’ City on the afternoon of October 19, 2021. 

Lamha admitted to her affair with Marvin in an interview to Sun last year. She claimed they ended their relationship a day before Mary’s death, but decided to resume their relationship following Mary’s death.

The death of Mary on October 19 was initially reported by her husband as a case of suicide by hanging.

Her dead body was taken to the hospital by her husband, Marvin, moments after she had gone home for break whilst on duty.

According to a credible source, Marvin initially told the hospital staff that his wife committed suicide by hanging herself, and then later changed his story and said that she suddenly collapsed.    

The police found the death suspicious, and opened an investigation into the case. 

Marvin was arrested in connection to death on October 27.

After conducting an autopsy on Mary’s body, the Police announced that they do not believe Mary died of suicide by hanging, and that the postmortem examination revealed the cause of death to be blunt injuries. 

Lamha was arrested under a court order on December 16.

Both Marvin and Lamha had also worked as nurses at IGMH.