Jack Bloom wants answers on accidental disposal of stillborn baby
This after an incident at Pholosong Hospital where a stillborn baby was discarded while the mother was expecting to bury it.
DA Gauteng MP Jack Bloom. Picture: Thembelihle Mkonza/ANA
DA Gauteng shadow MEC for health Jack Bloom has pressed the Gauteng health department for answers about procedures relating to the handling of the bodies of stillborn babies and their subsequent burial.
This after Sowetan Live published a report about an incident at Pholosong Hospital where a stillborn baby was discarded while the mother was expecting to bury it.
“Zandile Zolo was eight months pregnant when she gave birth to a stillborn baby and her family was preparing for burial when the hospital informed them they had mistakenly thrown it away with medical waste which was later burnt,” read part of a statement issued by Bloom.
“The hospital has apologised to the family, but the trauma will remain with them forever,” he added.
The shadow MEC went on to explain that the normal practice is that foetuses that are more than 24 weeks old are made available to the family for burial, but there have been cases where families have requested to bury a foetus born at less than 24 weeks.
The Births and Deaths Registration Act dictates that only foetuses under 26 weeks old (just over six months) may be disposed of as medical waste.
“Unfortunately, I know of other cases where families’ wishes in this regard have not been respected,” said Bloom.
According to him, the department needs to clarify and tighten controls in hospitals to ensure that proper protocol and sensitivity to the family is followed with regard to burial of stillborn babies.
News24 reports that departmental spokesperson Philani Mhlungusaid the matter was being investigated and the hospital would only comment once the investigation was completed.
No timeline was provided.
(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)