ELINA MASEGO and Sibongile Morudu with the baby, who was born outside the gate of the Stanza Bopape clinic. Oupa Mokoena African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - Elina Maseko has been left mentally scarred after she was allegedly kicked out of Stanza Bopape Community Health Centre and forced to give birth at the gate.

Speaking to the Pretoria News at her home in Extension 18 in Mamelodi East on Wednesday, the 47-year-old, broke down, recalling the incident last weekend.

Maseko, who went into labour on Sunday afternoon, asked her neighbour to accompany her to Stanza Bopape in his vehicle.

While en-route to the facility, which is 10km from where she lives, the car broke down, and she was forced to swap vehicles.

But that was only the beginning of Maseko’s troubles. When she eventually arrived at the clinic at around 8pm, nurses told her they couldn’t help her:

“They were so rude to me, it was absolutely disgusting.

“They blatantly told me I’m too old to give birth and that I was high risk. They literally kicked me out,” said Maseko. She was told to go to Mamelodi Day Hospital.

With what she described as agonising labour pains getting worse, she crawled to the gate.

She was accompanied by her niece Sibongile Morudu, 28, who ran to the gate to try to look for alternative transport to the hospital.

But the pain grew more intense and her waters broke, forcing Maseko to turn back to the clinic.

A security guard rushed to get her a wheelchair. Her niece had had no luck getting alternative transport and took off her jacket and helped deliver a baby girl, right outside the clinic.

“It was traumatising. I screamed but managed to cushion the baby in my jacket,” she recalled.

Morudu said it was only then that the nurses came out.

“They started shouting at me for delivering the baby and asked what I knew about delivering a baby. They said I could have infected the baby.”

Maseko was then taken in for further medical assistance.

She and the baby, her fifth, were transferred to Mamelodi Day Hospital the next day, from where she was discharged on Wednesday.

Both Maseko and Morudu, said they would never forget the experience and wanted the centre to account for what had happened.

With the assistance of civil rights organisation #NotInMyName, the family opened a case at Mamelodi East Police Station.

The Tshwane Health District said it had launched an investigation into the matter. Chief director Mothomone Pitsi said he was saddened by the unfortunate incident.

“It is unacceptable that the patient was not examined and told to go in her condition.

“Even in circumstances where patients are identified as high risk and require care at higher level facilities, they are not just sent away,” said Pitsi.

He did, however, add: “It should be noted that prior to this incident the patient received appropriate antenatal care at Stanza Bopape 2 Clinic and was advised where to deliver.”

He said the team was expected to report back, possibly within a month, with recommendations on the course of action to be followed.

The baby girl has been named after Morudu, and is doing well, having been given a clean bill of health by the hospital.

Pretoria News