SO SAD: Woman gives birth in toilet at Glen View poly-clinic after nurses refused to admit her

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In a suspected case of negligence, a woman gave birth in a toilet at Glen View polyclinic after health personnel reportedly refused to admit her while she was in labour.

Allegations are that Ms Esthina Swaba failed to get assistance from health personnel on duty citing that the polyclinic’s policy did not allow admission of preg_nant women who will be giving birth for the fifth time.

Harare City Council health director Dr Prosper Chonzi yesterday confirmed the incident which occurred last week. “We are still investigating, but obviously it’s not a policy position,” he said.

Allegations are that Ms Swaba gave birth in a toilet on September 27, 2022 as health personnel on duty were referring her to Sally Mugabe Central Hospital. Further allegations are that the nurse on duty withheld Swaba’s maternal health card for an unspecified reason despite having referred her to Sally Mugabe Central Hospital.

Combined Harare Residents Association liaising with Glen View residents petitioned Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume over negligence by health personnel.

Mayor Mafume received the petition last week.

“We have checked on the mother at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital and the child. I am advised by our doctors and matron in charge that the mother and the child are in a stable condition. We will be monitoring them and taking care of their expenses at the hospital as a city,” he said while receiving the petition.

According to the petition, the residents highlighted violation of human rights as provided in the Constitution.

They demanded the mayor to make a mandatory policy for all the health personnel on duty to wear name tags and badges for easy identification and to improve complaint reporting mechanisms.

“Direct the health director to publicise the patients charter, including sharing digital posters of the charter and hanging posters of the charter at all council clinics, and offices.

“Inform the director of Health to effect disciplinary measures on the nurse/health personnel who ill-treated Ms Swaba and if possible, remove her from Glen View polyclinic, and take responsibility of any damages and cost incurred during giving birth caused by negligence of their health personnel,” reads part of the petition.

The residents want the mayor to increase budget allocation and fiscal commitment towards maternal health care provision in the 2023 council budget and make maternal health a priority.

“Put maternal health provision on the agenda of the upcoming full council meeting or call for a special council meeting to discuss the status of maternal health care provision in the city and come up with recommendations,” they said.

“Set up an investigation committee in terms of Section 100 of the Urban Councils Act 29:15 on the status of maternal health provision in the City of Harare, considering the continued reports of negligence, corruption and poor maternal provision in Council health centres across the city,” reads the petition.

The Zimbabwean Constitution sections 48, 51, 53, 68 and 76(1) of speak of the right to life, right to personal dignity, right to be protected from physical, psychological harm and or degrading treatment, right to administrative justice, and the right to have access to basic health-care services among others.

Constitution also states “that no person may be refused emergency medical treatment in any healthcare institution.”

— Herald

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