…as family lodges complaint over loss of baby
CHIREDZI - Negligent nurses at Chiredzi General Hospital recently caused the death of a newly-born baby after they reportedly abandoned the mother as she was about to give birth, TellZim News has learnt.
The Chimene family has since lodged a complainant with the hospital administration after a family member, Dorcus Zvenyika, gave birth to a baby boy all by herself on the floor.
The nurses, who were under the supervision of one Sister Mutingwende, are said to have ignored her travails.
The nurses were reportedly notified that the woman was about to deliver but they ignored, and the woman’s baby fell headfirst onto the floor and died moments later.
Zvenyika’s case is said to be just but a tip of the iceberg of the despicable abuses that patients at the hospital suffer at the hands of staff members.
The abuse and neglect is said to be more pronounced in the maternity ward where labouring women need the most care.
A close source said labouring women are often not given any assistance when they want to visit the toilets while others are left to deliver on the floor if the nurses consider the women to be exaggerating the pain of their labour.
“Yes, we lost a baby at the hospital. We have talked with hospital administration and nurses who were on duty have been summoned. It is quite fortunate that the mother herself did not die in labour,” said family spokesperson Josiah Chimene, who is brother to Zvenyika’s husband Prince Chimene.
Chiredzi Medical Superintendent, David Tarumbwa said he was on study leave but will have to check with the hospital if the case was reported.
“I am glad that this case has names and the time when it happened. We can easily trace and investigate the issue. I will have to check with the administration if the case was reported,” said Tarumbwa.
Several cases of expectant mothers being left alone to deliver their babies on the floor are said to be under investigation at the hospital.
Bernadette Chipembere, a community activist, said she had eyewitness accounts of sheer neglect at the hospital.
“This is going out of hand. I saw members of the Chimene family crying while standing at the hospital's main entrance. I also once assisted a woman who had been abandoned outside of the ward and I later learnt that she was made to give birth on the floor,” said Chipembere.
She blamed the rot partly on government’s failure to adequately fund hospitals and for its lack of concern for the welfare of poor people who are the most dependent on the public health system.
“I can also blame the government for this rot. Only two nurses are left to attend more than 45 pregnant women on delivery beds, and there are also few beds at the hospital. Nurses are demoralised because their efforts are not being sufficiently rewarded. They have to do with inadequate drugs and equipment,” she said.