Negligence reported at government hospital
A distressed mother forced to deliver her baby alone after the nurse in charge had allegedly sneaked out of the ward to sleep, has spoken out about her horrific experience.
36-year-old Neo Morotsi complained about her treatment at Serowe’s Sekgoma Memorial Hospital after she screamed for help while the nurse in charge of the maternity ward was nowhere to be found.
She ended up giving birth without assistance.
Neo told how she lay in agony on the bed and could not walk to press the alarm that might have summoned help.
After the trauma of delivering the child alone, she said that when the nurse finally came she started insulting and blaming her for what had happed instead of apologising. “She blamed me for the whole incident, saying that I wanted to cause trouble for her,” Neo said.
The mother of six explained that she had earlier summoned the nurse to the maternity ward through the alarm and explained that she was about to give birth.
“But she just looked at me and left the ward. About an hour later I felt that the baby was coming and I screamed for help, but the nurse was still nowhere to be found until I gave birth alone.”
Although she never reported the case to the hospital staff, Neo revealed that two other expectant mothers had also to delivery on their own after the same nurse in charge had disappeared from the labour room. “There were lots of complaints that day, but since none of us knew where to report we only told a staff member who was registering the births, who also warned us about the nurse’s behaviour,” she said.
While the mother is relieved that she and her child survived the ordeal, she said that the little girl has a persistent running stomach, which she suspects to have been caused by negligence at the hospital.
Meanwhile an employee at the hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity, revealed that a University of Botswana student nearly lost her baby a week ago after the nurse in charge left her alone in the maternity ward, whilst other expectant mothers had to assist her to give birth.
“The baby was later incubated for sometime and the mother also had to be observed for several days after sustaining injuries during the delivery. I understand the nurse had gone to sleep in the other room.
“To tell the truth there is lot of negligence at Sekgoma which goes unreported probably because people don’t know their rights,” the source said.
Contacted for a comment, acting Hospital Superintendent Dr Finini Biyangdiki referred all questions regarding the allegations of negligence to the Ministry of Health. His only comment was: “The woman should have launched her complaint with the hospital management.”