Baby’s death probed

This woman says she is still battling to come to terms with the death of her daughter. She alleges that her daughter died at Site B Community Health Centre due to negligence of the staff.

A devastated Site B woman claims her baby, which was born prematurely, died as a result of negligence by staff at Site B Community Health Centre.

The provincial department of health is investigating the matter.

The 21-year-old claims that staff at the facility did not help her when she visited on Friday October 7.

The woman, who did not want to be named since her family was not aware of her pregnancy, said when she felt some pain in her stomach on Friday morning, her boyfriend rushed her to the clinic where she was immediately transported to the maternity ward.

When she arrived at the maternity ward, she claimed there were two doctors and two nurses whom she informed of her problem. She allegedly appealed to the doctors to examine her.

However, she claimed the nurses instructed her to go and urinate instead.

For nearly an hour, she said she cried and screamed for help but her pleas fell on deaf ears. Some nurses told her to keep quiet, she said.

The unemployed woman said she eventually gave birth to a baby girl, assisted by her boyfriend.

“After I gave birth my child was alive but a few minutes later, I noticed that my child was no longer breathing or moving.

“It was then that the doctors told me that my daughter had passed on.

“Doctors and nurses came after I gave birth. I was shocked and questioned the doctors about the circumstances surrounding her death. But they could not answer my questions and did not even comfort me,” she said.

The distraught woman said she wanted the clinic staff to be held accountable, adding that she intended to sue them.

She said the staff did not even provide counselling, and were hostile towards her.

Battling to contain her tears, she said she was still struggling to come to grips with the death of her child. She told Vukani that she had also been at the clinic the day before the traumatic incident, on Thursday October 6, for her first pregnancy check-up. She had been assessed, she said, and transferred to Khayelitsha Day Hospital on the same day for further medical assessments -and doctors found nothing wrong with her. But the doctors at the hospital advised her to sleep over and leave the next day.

It was after she left the hospital in the morning, that she started to feel some pain and her boyfriend hurried her to the clinic.

Spokesperson for the Department of Health, Sithembiso Magubane, confirmed to Vukani that the woman had been assessed in the trauma unit at Site B CHC.

“We are however, in the process of investigating and the necessary steps will be taken after the matter has been fully investigated. We will only be able to respond to you fully once the investigation has been finalised as we take this matter very seriously,” he concluded.

But this provides little comfort for the 21-year-old woman. “I’m always angry and I sometimes lash out for no reason. And there are times where I feel like not talking to anyone. I sometimes lock myself in my room and just think about the pain the Site B clinic put me through.”