Born in a taxi
Nurses at a clinic in Mpumalanga turned away a heavily pregnant woman because her next visit was two weeks away. An hour later, the woman who had been in labour, gave birth to a baby boy in a taxi.
Eunice Leshaba, 33, of Buyisonto, near Thulamahashe, told Sowetan yesterday that she went to the local clinic in pain last Monday.
Leshaba said the nurses, after checking her clinic card which said her next visit was on March 23, gave her pain killers and told her to go home.
"I think the nurses do not have experience because I told them I was having serious pains as well as an unusual discharge but they did not check me. I refused to go home unless I was checked but the nurses forced me to leave, saying I should not teach them how to do their job because they were professionals," said Leshaba.
The nurses told her that if the pains persisted she should go to Mapulaneng Hospital in Bushbuckridge, about 25km away.
Leshaba said she was very disappointed but gave the nurses the benefit of doubt by returning home.
Hardly an hour later, she started feeling even more pain and asked her husband, Joseph Qhibi, 36, to arrange transport to take her to hospital.
Qhibi ran to the main road about 3km away and flagged down a minibus taxi.
"We took my wife in the taxi but as we were driving past the Amashangana Tribal Authority her waters broke.
"We were trying to reach Thulamahashe Health Centre," said Qhibi.
A 21-year-old passenger, Jane Mambane, herself a mother, jumped into action as soon as the taxi stopped on the side of the road.
"I asked all the male passengers to stand aside while the woman's husband and I helped her give birth inside the taxi," said and ecstatic Mambane. I had not done it before but God gave me the strength and minutes later a baby boy was born."
The boy was named Siyabulela.
Mpho Gabashane, the Mpumalanga health department spokesperson, said the situation was unfortunate.
"We have already instructed the district manager to look into the matter. We are requesting our communities not to lose hope in us just because of a few individuals who decide to act against the Batho Pele principles," said Gabashane yesterday.