HEARTBROKEN: Agatha Ngubane and Israel Mudau recall the events that led to the death of their baby.  Picture: Nokuthula Zwane
HEARTBROKEN: Agatha Ngubane and Israel Mudau recall the events that led to the death of their baby. Picture: Nokuthula Zwane

Parents say baby died due to clinic's negligence

By Nokuthula Zwane Time of article published Jun 26, 2017

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A Soweto couple have accused Chiawelo Clinic nurses of causing the death of their newly born baby after the mother gave birth in a toilet.

Agatha Ngubane (36) and Israel Mudau (37) are looking for looking for answers from the Gauteng Department of Health followig the death of little Orifha Siphesihle Mudau.

Ngubane she said she had gone into labour on February 9 and when she arrived at the clinic nurses at the reception told her to wait.

“I arrived at the clinic at 6.30am and I was only attended to by 7.30am.

“After waiting for more than a hour, a nurse came to me and asked me to lay down on the bed. She started examining me by assessing my blood pressure and listening for a heartbeat,” said Ngubane.

“We both could not hear any heartbeat.”

The nurse left the room, she said.

While she was gone, Ngubane said she had gone to the toilet a number of times.

Some time later another nurse came into the room where she was and allegedly said “I have come to see the lady who has been going in and out of the toilet” .

Around 10am, Ngubane said she told the nurse, who was in the room at the time, that she was in pain and that the previous nurse who had observed her had not said anything.

“At that point I told her that I really needed the toilet and she allowed me to go.”

According to Ngubane, while she was in the toilet she felt pressure and the baby began coming out.

She tried to stand and ended up giving birth in the toilet.

“I caught the baby and patted his back. He was blue and not crying.

“I cried for help and only one nurse came and asked me to walk to the bed while carrying the baby,” she said.

Ngubane said she walked with the baby with the umbilical cord still hanging out of her and attached to the baby.

The child, she said, had dark blue lips.

Ngubane believes that the nurses did not react appropriately because her pregnancy was fine until the day she delivered her baby.

Mudau had been told that he would be able to leave with Ngubane and the baby on the very same day.

He indeed received a call on the day telling him to come and fetch his partner and son.

“I was called by the clinic to fetch her and the child. I was not aware that she had given birth to the baby in the toilet until she told me what happened. The baby was fine although he had blue or purple lips,” said Mudau.

“I saw something was wrong with the baby but I did not pay much attention to it,” Mudau said.

The following day the infant struggled to breastfeed and was restless throughout the morning, according to Ngubane and Mudau.

The couple took the infant back to the clinic and a couple of hours later they were told that Orifha had died.

“He was born on the 9 February and passed away on 10 February,” said Ngubane.

The 37-year-old father told The Star that the death of his son pained him and he thought the medical staff had not treated his partner’s case seriously.

“What I don’t understand is why there were no proper procedures when the nurse found out that the baby was born in the toilet.

“The problem was that the nurses showed a negative attitude towards my partner from the moment she walked into the clinic,” said Mudau.

“I want to know if the clinic’s policy allows for patients in labour to give birth in the toilet,” he said.

The South African Police Service’s Soweto West spokesperson, Captain Mpande Khoza, confirmed that an inquest case had been opened at the Moroka Police Station and that the case was under investigation.

The Gauteng Department of Health’s Prince Hamca said the department was also investigating the matter.

“We are going to engage with the clinic management and the patient to ascertain what transpired. That will inform what recourse action to take thereafter,” said Hamca.


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