Namakgale - The Limpopo health department is investigating the deaths of nine babies at the Maphutha Malatji Hospital in Namakgale in the past month.

“We have dispatched a team to the hospital to see what has transpired, and we have asked the hospital to furnish us with a report,” department spokesman Macks Lesufi said.

“We will also be at the hospital today (Monday), interacting with the team to establish facts.”

An investigation would be carried out, and a course of action outlined at 4pm, after the visit.

The Sowetan newspaper reported that most of the babies died because they were premature and the hospital allegedly did not have medication for them.

Cockroaches reportedly infested the ward for premature babies, no sanitisers were available for mothers to use before handling babies, there was a shortage of milk formula, and mothers had to buy their own nappies.

African National Congress spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the party had met Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi over the matter.

“The report today contains serious allegations of negligence and mismanagement, prompting the need for urgent and decisive intervention,” he said in a statement.

“Should the allegations be confirmed to be true, he has committed to take firm action against all individuals involved.”

Sapa