ANGRY: Delani Fani

Mum blames strike for baby’s death

A baby boy and his family have become victims of the bitter battle between government and striking medics.

Mmapula Chaba, a young mother from Old Naledi says her three- week-old son died after no one was available at a clinic to provide medical attention for her desperately sick child.

Chaba, 25, took her baby to Old Naledi Clinic in Gaborone on Tuesday afternoon last week complaining of vomiting and diarrhoea. The baby died later that evening after all she got from a nurse at the clinic was a stamp on the baby’s medical card and instructions to come back in the morning.  There was no one to provide medical assistance as the doctors and nurses that were supposed to be on duty that day were on strike.

“The nurse stamped the card and checked his temperature, but then we could not get into the consultation room because there was nobody available to prescribe medication or treatment,” she said

Lamenting the effects of the on-going strike, the baby’s aunt Delani Fani said,  “This is immoral.  It was just too painful to witness the distraught mother helplessly carrying her sick child back home. She had planned to walk to the Extension Two clinic five kilometres away from her home in the morning with the hope of finding a doctor or a nurse with a heart to help, despite the strike. Tragically the baby died that same night.”

In the morning the family took baby Onkemetse’s lifeless body back to the Old Naledi clinic where he was pronounced dead.

He was laid to rest at Broadhurst cemetery in Gaborone three days later where more heartache and drama for the grieving family followed. Relatives struggled to obtain a grave for the baby since employees of Gaborone City Council ‘s cemetery department were also on strike.

“We found a woman at the cemetery department but she refused to help us and told us that the employees responsible were on strike, and therefore we could not bury that day. We had no choice but to take the body back to the mortuary.

“The following morning we were fortunate to find a functioning employee and we managed to purchase a grave, but when we reached the cemetery we were turned back with the corpse because we had not been issued a grave number and by then the cemetery department was closed for business. We did not have enough money to pay for additional mortuary costs, so we took the body home and sought the help of our council representative who eventually got the police to accommodate the corpse at a government mortuary late at night,” Fani related.

The baby was finally laid to rest on Friday last week.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Health says it has not received any formal complaint regarding this incident from the bereaved family.

“However, we did advise the family to formally lodge a complaint with us so that the incident is investigated and necessary steps taken.  We encourage members of the public to use our toll free number 0800 600 740 to report in the quickest manner possible whenever they encounter challenges at our health facilities,” the chief Health Officer in the Public relations office at the Ministry, Doreen Motshegwa advised when responding to  a Voice enquiry on the allegations.

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lefatshe la rona tota leya kae???


fcuk evryone who is on strike! how many lives are we gonna loose? we just came out of reccession nd the govt hv budget deficit bt lona la re le bata madi.


A 2 billion ke ene a ka re sotla jaana? Ministers of Health, Education and Agriculture they are blind why a sa bue le gov gore ba neele batho madi. Last yr we manage to survive with 10 billion deficit why now is 6 billion after strike it’ll be more than 6. Today go thotse go le ntwa ya matichara a a mo strikeng le a sa strikang kwa Matsha mme fa o ka Botsa Moitoi o tsile go latola are sengwe le segwe se siame.

if the government continues like this,…our country is going to turn into something else..i feel for the dying patients,innocent babies who die not knowing whats going on around the country,,,the government should take action. imagine at schools the teachers are nt working at the end of the day students are to write exams bana ba ya go kwala eng??Govee tsaya kgato before you turn the before this country turns into a mess..iam worried about this whole strike thing..


wht a shame ths is a sad story indeed bt wht cn we say babereki ba lwela ditshwanelo tsa bone


@lessmor Moitoi ona le mathata bana ba rona ba a failor mo then we are being told gore re ithaope for what. and morena ene are strike gasena impact we can breath our lungs out for all he cares ga gona madi batho weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


this is taking the wrong direction now. i think its high time our goverment a duela babereki. imagine di case tse di sa tswang go bolelelwa tsa dinstho sale strike se simologa. amme re ya golo gongwe Botswana. SKI duela babereki.


hei nxaaaaaaaaaaaa ke a tenega wa itsi f#@%&*


go utlwisa bohloko waitse…


this is really pain to read or even hear about… i do not get it how we as a nation that voted can stand for such, this strike is not only affecting the old and wise but even the innocent kids that now wonder the streets. We are not making any thing better by the strike we might get a positive out come out of all this but if it is under the expenses of losing an innocent person it is not worth it… and for people who now can sit happy while we lose a brother or a sister… Read more »


this is what we call “hell on earth”The strike is now affecting innocent ppl.Gone mme govi a re re survivor ka eng? Everything has bn going up 4 the past years except salaries of public officers.,..Personally i dnt blame them, they r doing it for a purpose and a gud 1.. bangwe ba bua funny comments!If it was u, what were u going to do? Zebras players are btter thy recieved dikete tse di masome mabedi tsa dipula.. students are supposed to be doing their coursewrk ths tym, ga e le ma form four a MODIMO one…….Botswana o simolola go… Read more »


Nna I am a civil servant, but I have since decided not to depend on whether my salary goes up, down or out. I spend only what I get and not a thebe more. I keep 26 laying chickens in my backyard, and grow vegetables in a few plots. When I take leave, I make sure I coincide it with ploughing season, so I plough my landboard field to produce some of those foods we dont want to buy all the time like beans, maize, melons and sweet reeds. I tell my kids that I am only working because I… Read more »


@Rarefri’s, dats true..le fa gotwe you have all the rights on earth, hw can you fight 4 them at the expense of sm1’s loss of life…ga go asala sepe re bo re utlwa gotwe ba masika a sm1 yoo mo striking (kana bone baba mo stricking)ba wetse in this very same situation ya Mmapula Chaba, nw the question will be, will one call himself a true fighter? ke fela gore motho abo a itshekisa.


@ nyanyambulembu,wena i agree wit u.we jst 4rm recession,govie s trying 2 put thns in perspective gore next tym we dnt get kgathiwa ke go strika mme they get more than wat we hv rona ba di private sectors.govie wa ba surpot tota mme they dnt batla go buswa ke matagwa a bmd le goba rotloetsa go tla go ja madi a lefatshe.


may the little thing’s soul find peace n m sos so sorry 4 his mother, modimo o ten. U c wht ihv realised about malope a strikilen ke gore they a hate peace. seing our country functioning smooth like we no it its sometin se se ba shimisang and they like comparing our developing country with developd countries. People should accpt dat these country is developing and stop the non sense that they r doin. I wish all the bad things happenin to people due to da strike shold happn to all those ba ba gogan strike se ko pele… Read more »


ke shimisega mo go maswe cos o kgona go ithela a nurse o tisitse some1 old o ngwana a gateletswe a bo a go raa are o strikile nkare motho a sa tshole. They will ol burn in hell 4 ol inocent pple hu lost their live also 4 mapodise a bonen dikgobalo a leka go emisa malope a basadi le banna ba ba kanakna ba ba strikilen. Sisnesssssss! nxa!


ntho tse dia tshwenya ka ofela..Ke kgopela merapelo ho Ramasedi hore a tlhonolofatse chaba ya Botswana ka moka.