SAA: Teen's pregnancy not disclosed

2013-03-12 08:08
Johannesburg - South African Airways (SAA) has confirmed that one of its passengers safely delivered a baby on board flight SA 203 which departed Johannesburg on Saturday 8 March.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlai said the airline is currently investigating the medical emergency incident and according to information at its disposal the passenger did not disclose any details about her pregnancy in the booking or boarding process.

The NY Daily News reported Fatawmatt Kaba, 17, of Angola went into labour four hours into the 16-hour trip. The newborn, Mamel Joella, was born about 38 000 feet in the air over West Africa. Two doctors and a nurse assisted the passenger while the crew explored the possibility of diverting the flight to airports in West Africa. After the birth, the medical personnel determined that both the mother and the baby were in a stable condition and that the flight could continue to its destination. Arrangements were made for paramedics to receive the mother and baby upon the flight's arrival into New York-JFK on 9 March.

"The safety and security of our customers and crew is SAA's first priority. We urge all our passengers to familiarise themselves with and adhere to all applicable policies and guidelines as practised by SAA and many airlines around the world," Tlali said.

SAA Policy on Expectant Mothers:
•    Medical clearance is only necessary if the expectant mother is having complications with the pregnancy.
•    Domestic travel is permitted up to 36 weeks for a routine pregnancy.
•    International travel is permitted up to 35 weeks for a routine pregnancy.

In addition, all pregnant passengers must provide a letter from their gynaecologist stating the following:
•    term of pregnancy;
•    fitness to travel
•    whether it’s a single, multiple or high risk pregnancy; and
•    any possible complications, including hypertensive passengers, history of premature labour, etc.

Tlali commended the SAA crew and doctors who assisted in the situation as well as the passengers who assisted and showed empathy during the emergency.
Read more on:    saa  |  travel south africa  |  travel international  |  flights

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