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'Negligent' nurses to blame for baby's death

By unknown | Oct 01, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Israel Nkate

A couple from Mafenya Village in North West have blamed nurses at the local clinic for the death of their newborn baby in July.

The baby's parents, Moeketsi and Patience Kekae, claimed the "rude" nurses refused to help as the baby suffocated minutes after he was born.

The couple said the nurses at Chaneng Clinic had neglected to clean mucous from the baby's nostrils soon after he was born on July 27.

They had raised the issue with the clinic and the health department but no action was taken until a local councillor stepped in this weekend.

A full-scale investigation into the nurses' conduct is now under way.

The baby's mother, Patience, said though the nurses had cleaned the baby's nose as soon as he was born, mucous had continued to flow.

Kekae said when she saw the mucous she asked a nurse nearby to attend to him as she was still too weak to do it herself.

But the nurses instead scolded her, insisting that the baby didn't need any attention, she said.

"We lost our baby because of the negligence of the nurses," said Moeketsi, who witnessed the birth of his son.

"She gave birth to a healthy baby boy. We named him Araona and I was over the moon," said Moeketsi.

He said he had to leave immediately afterwards for work, but within minutes he received a message asking him to rush back to the clinic.

"When I arrived at the clinic I found Araona dead. The nurse said he had failed to breathe.

"I found the story suspicious because when I left he was progressing and looked healthy," he said.

"Patience told me that the nurses were not telling the truth. She said they had not cleaned mucous from the baby's nose."

The trauma of losing her son has affected Patience badly.

She has even given up running the creche she used to manage.

"I can't bear looking at the kids throughout the day. They bring back the memory of my own baby. My mind is in turmoil," she said.

The matron at the clinic, Linda Legotlo, refused to speak about the incident or the alleged negligence by her staff and slammed down the telephone in mid-conversation.

Ntopana Malatji of the North West department of health said the incident was being investigated and disciplinary action might be taken against the nurses.


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