The issue of clinics being operational for 24 hours is in the spotlight after a Limpopo woman gave birth in a police station on Sunday.
The 23-year-old woman from Roedtan in Limpopo went to the local clinic after her water broke. But security guards told her the clinic was closed until the next day. She was told that the clinic was only open for services from Monday to Friday.
“We can confirm that our members in Roedtan Police Station, outside Modimolle, Sergeant Nkang Winner Mogoru and Constable Kleinboy Solomon Mnisi, successfully managed to assist a woman to deliver a baby,” said Limpopo police spokesman Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe yesterday.
Ngoepe said the young woman came to the Community Service Centre with labour pains. Constable Mnisi, who was on duty, managed to get a female colleague, Sergeant Mogoru, to help the woman.
Mogoru was on patrol when she was called to the station. The duo collaborated to assist the woman to give birth. He said the birth took place in the boardroom of the police station. The police called an ambulance to take the newborn baby and her mother to hospital.
Yesterday Mogoru appealed to Limpopo MEC for health Phophi Ramathuba to ensure clinics in the province were open to the public 24 hours a day. “I am a woman. It hurts me to see another woman suffer.
“I am appealing to government to make sure this service, which is deemed an essential service, is always there, not only in towns and townships, but also in far-flung villages and farm dwellings so our mothers are able to carry out one of the most important duties in the world – delivering a bundle of joy into the world without any hassle.”
Limpopo health departmental spokesman Neil Shikwambana said: “We normally close clinics during the weekend because of a number of factors. The clinic is in a farming area – a house was converted into a clinic.
“In light of this, we were bound to open the clinic for only 12 hours as our nurses have no place to sleep in the clinic as there is not enough space for medical purposes.
“The other factor is the problem of numbers. I am sure the clinic records a low number of patients on a daily basis. In light of this, we cannot open the clinic for so few people.
“We rather refer them to the local health centre where nurses have proper structures to render both medical services and to sleep over when they work for 24 hours.”