Nurses probed after mom gives birth in toilet

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A 32-year-old woman from a rural village in Mpumalanga claimed that she gave birth to a baby boy in a hospital toilet after abusive nurses harassed her.

Nikie Judith Mashego of Wales village near Acornhoek was yesterday called to the Mapulaneng Hospital in Bushbuckridge to explain her allegations to the hospital's management.

She wrote a statement, a copy of which is in Sowetan's possession, detailing the circumstances under which her child was born in a toilet.

Mashego told management in the statement that she arrived at the hospital on September 21 at about 4am. A nurse first attended to her at 5.15am and then again at about 8am.

She claimed the nurses told her that she was not yet due to give birth. She started vomiting while sitting on the bench. She said a nurse told her to go and vomit in the toilet.

"The nurse told me to clean up my mess with a piece of a linen that was wet from having been used on another patient," Mashego said.

"Another nurse ordered me to lie down when I cried for help.

"While I was on the bed I felt like vomiting again, so I went back to the toilet." .

Mashego said while she was in the toilet her water broke, and she called to the nurses - but to no avail.

"I gave birth on the toilet floor," she said. "I cried for help again and an angry nurse asked me why I had not given birth at home since I was able to deliver on my own."

She said the nurse threw a bed sheet at her and told her to wrap the baby up because the toilet was too dirty for the nurses to enter.

"I handed my baby to the nurse, who cut the umbilical cord before asking me why I could not take the placenta out since I was able to deliver without help."

Provincial health department spokesman Mpho Gabashane confirmed yesterday that the matter was under investigation.

"The patient has made a presentation to the hospital management and if her allegations are true her rights as a patient were violated," Gabashane said.

"We will wait for the outcome of the investigations before deciding on a way forward."