Tag Archives: Health Care

JUSTICE FOR VALÉRIE ! – 2nd anniversary of death

Our voice against racist neglect in the German healthcare system!

Two years ago, 7-year-old Valérie Iyobor from Uelzen died of generalised sepsis following an undiagnosed ruptured appendix. Despite her urgent presentation to a paediatrician on the morning of 21 March at the MVZ am Hammersteinplatz, she died on the same day because the paediatrician there only assumed she had a banal „gastrointestinal infection“ despite her complaints of severe abdominal pain.

The paediatrician sent Valérie and her mother home with the recommendation to drink enough water and eat bananas…

In the afternoon, however, little Valérie’s condition deteriorated to such an extent that her mother had to inform the emergency services – but Valérie’s circulation collapsed on the way to the hospital and she could no longer be resuscitated.

We stand in solidarity with Valérie’s family and especially with her mother Jennifer Iyobor in demanding clarification of the circumstances that led to this tragic loss:

  • Why didn’t the paediatrician take Valérie’s complaints seriously?
  • Why did she not even consider acute appendicitis – the most common surgical disease in childhood(!)?
  • Why did she not carry out essential examinations to rule out a possible appendicitis?
  • Why did she fail to present herself immediately at the hospital for further examinations?
  • Why has she – just like the management of the MVZ, the group of companies or the

Leben leben Foundation – not contacted the family and expressed her personal sympathy to this day?

Such behaviour is part of a structural system in which mistakes are not acknowleged, compassion is not expressed personally and responsibility will not be accepted. Two weeks after the facts were published in the local press – Managing Director of the clinic (MVZ) Jörn Dieterich unconditionally backed this paediatrician and expressed his „conviction that she acted to the best of her knowledge and belief“. The foundation wrote on its homepage under „News“ on 9 April 2020 that „All our sympathy goes out to the mother and her little brother!“ – but to date has been neither willing nor able to express this personally to the family concerned or to offer condolences at the funeral. Nevertheless, at the end of the article in question and in view of the title chosen for the headline, she called for the following as a core message Reporting“ on the company „to ensure respectful and fair treatment of all persons involved and/or affected!“ .

What happened on 21.3.22 can, according to our current state of knowledge, only be explained by the negligence of a doctor’s breach of duty of care. This doctor failed to carry out basic examinations to rule out appendicitis, such as taking the patient’s temperature or performing laboratory blood tests, and only carried out a very superficial medical history and physical examination.

Unfortunately, people of African descent are still too often confronted with indifference in dealing with their pain, illnesses and symptoms in the German healthcare system. And this indifference is also part of structural racism, which in this case is expressed through irresponsible negligence. The naming of this racism is expressly not an insinuation of a wilful intention to violate, but of negligence towards a Black family. The understanding „assumption“ that Black people are „better“ at enduring pain or that they tend to exaggerate, for example, is one such widespread prejudice. So when the managing director of the MVZ told the Allgemeine Zeitung from Uelzen on 9 April 2022 ‚personally offended‘: „I firmly reject the accusation of racism. It has always been the basic philosophy of ‚Leben leben‘ that everyone is treated equally here…“ – we can only hope that this statement of defence does not mean that all young patients are treated in the same way as Valérie!

How else could it be understood that the paediatrician simply ignored Valérie’s complaint of severe abdominal pain and her request for pain medication?

How else could one understand that a child who was still holding its stomach in pain in the waiting room and could not sit still was not examined carefully enough or referred to a hospital to clarify the cause?

Together with the family, we mourn the loss of a little daughter and a big sister for her little brother. The family’s questions about the „why“ have still not been answered. Despite the availability of the autopsy report and a multi-part expert report, the public prosecutor’s office in Lüneburg has still not brought forward any charges. 2 years and ongoing „investigations“ in a case in which all the necessary evidence has long since been established and the paediatrician is continuing to examine and treat young patients in the meantime without having justified herself?

The slowness of these investigations is also incomprehensible in view of the statistics currently available on the duration of preliminary proceedings at the public prosecutor’s offices in 2022 – 98% of these were completed after 1 year and 99.8% after 2 years. This also raises the question as to which factors should justify the fact that the investigation proceedings have still not been concluded in this clear case?

We have not and will not simply forget Valérie’s death – and that we do not do so also means that we want to ensure that her avoidable death is at least clarified quickly and then taken seriously!

We owe it to Valérie!



RALLY in Uelzen on Thursday, 21.03.2024 2 – 5 PM MVZ am Hammersteinplatz (Ripdorfer Straße 3-5, 29525 Uelzen)