Mother, who was allegedly forced to give birth standing up, buries her child

2019-08-20 17:57
(Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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A newborn baby who died at Mamelodi Hospital because his mother, a Zimbabwean national, was allegedly forced to give birth standing up was buried on Tuesday.

Theresa Ngwendu, 30, said she was rushed to the hospital on the morning of August 7 after going into labour.

Upon entering the hospital, she requested the assistance of a nurse, explaining she was about to give birth.

"I told one of the nurses, I want help, but the nurse [was] ignoring me," Ngwendu said.

"I need your help, help me, the baby is coming," she again asked one of the nurses.

Instead of being helped, the nurse allegedly told Ngwendu to close her legs and sit down.

Moments later, she gave birth, while standing up, resulting in the newborn falling to the floor.

"After the baby landed on the floor, she [the nurse] came, shouting 'this is not Zimbabwe, this is South Africa'."

Ngwendu was then given a bed in the maternity ward and was told by the nurse her baby was stillborn. However, she said she knew her baby was breathing when he was born.

"She told me the baby had died in the womb."

While in the maternity ward, Ngwendu said she was in a lot of pain and bleeding profusely. When she alerted the nurse, she was allegedly asked what "must she do about it?" She was also allegedly refused medication for the pain.  

Ngwendu and her husband, Tinashe Zisani, buried their child - who they were going to name Dean - at a cemetery in Mamelodi East on Tuesday morning.

Both Ngwendu and Zisani are not only devastated at their loss, but also angry, accusing hospital staff for being the reason why their child had died.

The spokesperson for Health MEC Bandile Masuku, Kwara Kekana, said the department had received a report from the hospital, noting it had been in touch with the family for redress.

"The district obstetrician has also interviewed the family and conducted a document review of the incident.

"MEC Masuku has requested a report into the matter. In addition, the hospital has the responsibility to ensure that the family receives the necessary psychological support."

Kekana added the matter was reported to the police.

Police spokesperson Captain Johannes Maheso told News24 an inquest had been opened at the Mamelodi East police station and the case was currently being investigated.

Maheso added a postmortem had been conducted but they have yet to get the results. 

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