baby bOrn at hospital gates

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A Limpopo woman has claimed she gave birth at the gates of a local hospital after she was denied help.

Junior Kgadima, from Mahloho near Mokopane, also claims that she was first denied help at a local clinic where nurses told her that there were no doctors. They then referred her to the hospital.

Kgadima, 33, says a doctor at George Masebe Hospital told her her delivery was still far off and sent her home after giving her Panado tablets.

"I went to Mapela Clinic feeling terrible pains as though the baby could come at any time. A nurse told me there were no doctors and referred me to Masebe Hospital.

"At the hospital, a doctor told me that my days for delivery were still far and that I should go home and come back the following week. He gave me some tablets which he said would help ease the pains.

"I told the doctor that the baby was near but he did not listen. He said there was nothing he could do and ordered me to leave.

"My water broke when I reached the gates and I cried for help. A security guard at the gate called for help. The baby was delivered by an ambulance driver who fortunately arrived at the scene on time."

But the hospital has denied any wrong-doing. Limpopo health spokesman Phuti Seloba said Kgadima had told doctors at the hospital that she was suffering from stomachache. "She said she wanted medication for her stomachaches, which they provided. She could have been helped had she told the doctors the truth," Seloba said.

Seloba added that Kgadima had no idea that the baby was near when she went to the hospital because it was her first experience - a statement that Kgadima rejected, saying the baby was her third child.

The incident comes a few months after Mapula Malatji of Namakgale used a broken beer bottle to cut the umbilical cord of her baby, which she delivered under a tree near a bottle store.

The woman had called an ambulance, which failed to arrive on time. She gave birth while walking more than 10km to the Maphutha-Malatji Hospital for delivery.