News | South Africa
Alex Japho Matlala
The family of a baby who died a day after she was born outside a clinic in Musina wants the department of health in Limpopo to pay for its negligence.
The family wants the department, under MEC Phophi Ramathuba, to pay them millions of rands for criminal negligence.
A case of culpable homicide has also been opened against a nurse who refused to help the pregnant woman to deliver the baby.
The nurse allegedly told security guards at the hospital it was still very early and that she was still sleeping.
The woman was then forced to deliver the baby outside the gates of Madimbo Clinic in Musina near Beitbridge.
Both the mother and the baby, were transferred to Vhufulwi Hospital outside Thohoyandou, where the baby died two days later.
On Thursday, the baby’s grandmother, Christina Ndou, accused the department of negligence and said it was responsible for the death of her granddaughter.
Ndou revealed that during the delivery outside the clinic, the baby fell from the mother’s body onto the ground, sustaining visible head and facial injuries.
‘Sleeping’ nurse suspended after woman gives birth at clinic gate
“This happened in full view of bemused passers-by and the helpless security guards.
“Nurses at the hospital who came later can also confirm the incident as they helped wash the baby. That is why the baby was later transferred to a hospital in the first place,” she said.
“We have met as a family and decided to take the legal route. We are still weighing our options as to how much the department should pay us,” she said.
Last week, the department confirmed that a nurse who was supposed to attend to the mother during delivery has been suspended.
The department said the clinic in which the baby was born was not operating on a 24-hour basis.
But that it was normal procedure that in cases of emergency, nurses were supposed to help patients when they arrived at the facility.
On Wednesday, the Democratic Alliance laid criminal charges against the department and the nurse at the centre of the controversy.