Midwife talks about love for newborns' first cry

Nursing sister Jane Malatji is a senior midwife at Kgapane hospital in Limpopo./ PETER RAMOTHWALA
Nursing sister Jane Malatji is a senior midwife at Kgapane hospital in Limpopo./ PETER RAMOTHWALA

Nursing sister Jane Malatji, who has a 30-year experience in midwifery, describes her profession as noble and that it should be highly appreciated.

Malatji, 58, a senior professional midwife at Kgapane Provincial Hospital in Limpopo, said over the years she helped deliver thousands of babies, including many pair of twins.

"I have seen it all, from the apartheid regime to democratic dispensation. Overall it had been 35 years of commitment, compassion, dedication and love," she said.

Malatji reminisced that she enrolled as a nursing student at Modjadji Nursing College in 1985 and did her training at the same Kgapane hospital, in Bolobedu, Modjadjiskloof, where she now works.

"I'm grateful to God that I chose nursing because here we save lives, and this profession teaches one to appreciate life. We treat people with all sorts of ailments but what gives me joy is when I see patients recovering well before my eyes."

Malatji is one of three senior advanced midwives in the maternity ward who make sure everything is in order for mothers to deliver their babies.

"This hospital was known for bad things and one of those was that mothers die after giving birth," Malatji said.

"In 2017, through the help of University of Limpopo and the department of health, we introduced a programme called 'Champion in Respectful Maternity Care'.

"It turned things around as we became friends and immediate family to our patients," she said.

Malatji said thanks to the programme, the hospital has won the fight against its once high maternal mortality rate.

"In our Mopani district, we were told that we are number one in treating mothers well and the delivery of babies. This also because when we welcome patients, we also involve their next-of-kin and that is imperative to us."

Malatji, who holds a degree in nursing, said her wish was for people to respect and appreciate the role of nurses.

"In 2022, I will be retiring and my appeal to young people is that they should join the profession for love and not money.

"You must always, at all times, be willing to reach out to people... whether at work or home."

The mother of six added that she had fallen in love with screams of new babies after delivery.

"I miss them a lot when I'm off. I can even hear them giving their first cry in my sleep."

She said with the global outbreak of coronavirus also affecting the country, she had been praying for all her colleagues and South Africans.

"I'm certain we are going to win this battle against the virus. If we follow all guidelines, we will pull through."

ramothwalap@sowetan.co.za

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