'Cruel nurses did not help me'

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A Mpumalanga family is very angry with the Agincourt Health Centre after nurses there allegedly refused to help a member give birth on Friday afternoon.

Nomsa Machavi, 40, of Kumani village near Thulamahashe, went to the centre in the company of her sister-in-law, Merriam Ntimane, and a neighbour, Cindy Mathebula.

Mathebula told Sowetan that a nursing sister instructed Machavi to lie down on a bed and asked her about the number of children she had previously given birth to.

"She told the nurse that she had given birth to five children and the nurse allegedly told her to get off the bed because she was not yet due," Mathebula said.

"To my surprise Machavi gave birth on the floor and I had to personally assist her."

"I was covered in dirt when I rushed to call the nurses who had left us alone in the room."

Ntimane said she had left to buy food when she received a call from Mathebula, who told her that the nurses wanted them to use their own vehicle to transport Machavi to the Matikwane Hospital in Mkhuhlu.

"That shocked me because they were supposed to have called an ambulance," Ntimane said. "When I arrived at the health centre I discovered that Machavi was already having a baby boy."

Machavi's husband, Eckson, said he was very angry about the nurses' "cruelty".

"These nurses do not have hearts," he said. "They are very cruel. I don't know what would have happened had my child died owing to their negligence."

Mpumalanga health department spokesman Dumisani Mlangeni said they were going to investigate the matter.

"If the allegations are true the department will have no alternative but to take drastic action against the culprits," Mlangeni said yesterday.

"We would like to see all government employees adhering to the Constitution and the Batho Pele principle."

A similar incident allegedly took place in the province some time ago.

Nurses allegedly ignored a heavily pregnant woman, which resulted in her giving birth inside a loaded minibus taxi.

The young woman claimed that she had been expelled from Hluvukani Clinic and ordered to travel more than 60km to the Tintswalo Hospital in Acornhoek.

She unexpectedly went into labour before reaching the hospital.