Woman helps deliver baby in taxi

2014-12-11 00:00

A BRAVE Vryheid woman delivered a breech baby in a taxi on the side of the road, with only a broken bottle to cut the umbilical cord.

Zonke Ntuli (39) was in a taxi travelling from Johannesburg to Vryheid on Monday afternoon when a heavily pregnant passenger went into labour.

Ntuli said the pregnant woman’s waters broke after they stopped at Volksrust for a break.

“The pregnant woman was a little shocked. She said maybe her baby was coming,” Ntuli said.

Initially passengers thought that she would be able to make it to Newcastle Hospital, however, as the taxi travelled through the Amajuba Pass, the baby crowned.

“We told the driver to stop and told her to lie on the seat and the baby started coming out. Many passengers were scared and they kept their distance,” Ntuli said.

She said other passengers did not want to help with the delivery because there were no gloves and they were afraid of the blood.

“I was also scared as the baby was coming out feet first, but urged the woman to push. A baby boy was born and I was very relieved when he started crying.”

Ntuli said she asked other passengers to find her a broken bottle to cut the umbilical cord with.

The mother and child were released from hospital yesterday and are reportedly in good health.

Ntuli said: “Nothing could have prepared me for what happened, but I’m pleased to have helped the mother deliver her baby.”

A gynaecologist, who would not be named, commended Ntuli’s actions but advised it was unsafe to sever the umbilical cord with an object such as a broken bottle as the risk of infection was high. “In an environment where there is nothing sterile with which to sever the cord, rather clamp it with a piece of thread or something clean.”

HEALTH Department spokesperson Desmond Motha said the department would not hesitate to help train people like Ntuli.

Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and HOD Sibongile Zungu hailed Ntuli for her actions. “We are very proud of the courageous actions of the passenger who helped deliver the baby. Her actions are indeed exemplary …”

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