PE Express

Hospital head under fire over bodies of dead babies

THE Eastern Cape Department of Health has written a letter to the chief executive officer of Elliotdale’s Madwaleni Hospital, Nomvula Kopeshe, asking why she should not be suspended.

The department drafted this letter last week following a report that the hospital had been keeping the bodies of three stillborn babies there since 2013.

The remains of a stillborn baby were exhumed from a dumping site on the grounds of the hospital recently. The exhumation took place after residents of Elliotdale and their traditional leaders approached the police.

Department of Health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo confirmed that the CEO had been given five days to respond. “She received a letter from the department and the department is still waiting for her response,” Kupelo said.

When the body was exhumed, residents and staff of the hospital expressed unhappiness about what had happened at their hospital.

According to the chairman of the hospital board, Xolile Gabada, cleaners allegedly found a body in a cardboard box in the hospital in June.

“They said they had informed the management about that, but the decision was that the child should be buried at the hospital.

“Some staff members said they had seen the baby being buried and had been told to keep quiet about it since it would cause problems, but the news spread and reached the board,” Gabada said.

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