Maternal health

Mpumalanga investigates case of negligence

Written by Cynthia Maseko

A woman in labour asked medical staff to help her, but was allegedly told she was in false labour.

In excruciating pain she went to the clinic’s toilet where, all alone and without the help of nurses who were only metres away, she gave birth to her child.

This is one of two allegations of negligence at Mpumalanga health facilities that the Mpumalanga Department of Health is investigating.

Staff at the Matsula Clinic allegedly refused to come to the aid of the pregnant woman who told them she was in labour. The clinic is in the Ehlanzeni district. According to preliminary information received by the Department, the woman arrived at the clinic and reported that she was having contractions. After being assessed, nurses allegeldy told her that it was a false labour. She later delivered the baby in the toilet.

Musa Khoza, who lives in Matsulu and who uses the clinic, alleged the problem at the Matsulu Clinic was “the bad attitude of the entire staff who are too lazy to do their work”.

In the Piet Retief Hospital in the Gert Sibande district, concerns have been raised because of the high mortality rate of children under the age of five. Details were not provided on this but that the high rate of death at childbirth was concerning. Bongiwe Buthelezi, a midwife in Piet Retief Hospital alleged that traditional medicine was “a big problem especially to HIV positive mothers as they stop their ARVs. The traditional medicine makes them go into labour faster”.

The MEC for Health, Gillion Mashego, expressed shock at the two issues. “We have appointed a team to conduct investigations. Once the investigations have been completed we will decide on the next course of action. This will be informed by the outcomes of the investigations.” – Health-e News

About the author

Cynthia Maseko

Cynthia Maseko joined OurHealth in 2013 as a citizen journalist working in Mpumalanga. She is passionate about women’s health issues and joined Treatment Action Campaign branch as a volunteer after completing her matric. As an activist she has been involved with Equal Treatment, Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV and also with Marie Stopes Clinic’s project Blue Star dealing with the promotion of safe abortions and HIV education.

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