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Woman delivers baby on a roadside after allegedly waiting four hours for an ambulance

The woman stated that she went into labour at 11am and contacted the provincial ambulance service. After waiting four hours she delivered the child on her own. Picture: Reaction Unit South Africa

The woman stated that she went into labour at 11am and contacted the provincial ambulance service. After waiting four hours she delivered the child on her own. Picture: Reaction Unit South Africa

Published Jun 23, 2022

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Durban — A 26-year-old woman delivered a healthy baby on the roadside after allegedly waiting for four hours for medical assistance in Mhlasini, Verulam, north of Durban.

Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) spokesperson Prem Balram said they were contacted by Mhlasini residents before 3pm on Wednesday requesting urgent assistance for the woman after she delivered the baby on the side of the road.

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Balram said Rusa medics were dispatched to the location provided and on arrival examined the mother and baby.

“The female stated that she went into labour at 11am and contacted the provincial ambulance service. After waiting four hours she delivered the child on her own,” Balram said.

He said the mother and the baby were transported to the hospital in a stable condition.

Last month, Florence Nightingale Drive might have not been the ideal place for a midwife to assist a woman give birth, but it echoed the teachings of the woman who pioneered the nursing profession many moons ago.

Off-duty RK Khan Hospital midwife Gonum Govender, 64, did not hesitate when concerned members of the community informed her about a homeless woman who was about to give birth on the side of the road in Chatsworth, south of Durban.

Govender had just gone home after knocking off.

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While still in her nurse’s uniform, she dropped her bag and rushed to the scene where community members had already secured surgical gloves, towels, a sheet for the mother and a blanket for the baby.

Govender, who is due to retire next year, used a pair of scissors supplied by the community to cut the umbilical cord.

The baby was eventually rushed to RK Khan Hospital for further care by another nurse who works at a private hospital.

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