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Hospital blamed for baby’s death

2022-08-25  Victoria Kaapanda

Hospital blamed for baby’s death

ONGWEDIVA - A woman who lost her baby girl soon after delivering her at Onesi Health Centre in the Omusati region, claims that the nurses’ negligence cost the life of her newborn baby. 

Ndapandula Paulus told New Era that her baby girl could have been alive had the nurses took her serious when she arrived at the clinic telling them that she was in labour. 

“When the labour pain started on Monday morning, I decided to walk to the clinic which is just a few metres from where I stay. The nurses examined me and told me I must go back and walk around, but I should not go far - which I did,” she explained.

The 26-year-old soon thereafter told the nurse the baby was coming.

“But she [the nurse] was not moved, instead she asked if it was my first time to give birth. I was then kept in an isolated room where I lied quietly. The nurse was standing a distance from me doing nothing. I told her that the pain had worsen but still, nothing was done,” she shared.

Her water broke, and the baby came out. The nurse, who was alerted by the cry of the baby, allegedly came running and grabbed the baby.

“She was there, holding the baby while, calling other nurses. They then cut the umbilical cord and rushed her off to the incubator as she was breathing with difficulties,’’ she added.

Moments later, the nurses broke the news to the young mother that her baby was no more. Paulus charged that the nurses told her that amniotic fluid blocked her respiratory system and that caused her death.  

The amniotic fluid is the protective liquid that serves as a cushion for the growing fetus, but also serves to facilitate the exchange of nutrients, water, and biochemical products between mother and fetus.

“I am not fine. This is not fair. I came here to give birth, just to leave without a baby. I never had complications throughout my pregnancy,” stressed Paulus.

Angered by the incident, Nathanael Amunyela, the father of the baby said the responsible nurses will answer as the baby’s death was caused by negligence.

“That is a straight case, nothing else,” said the father.

Amunyela said he was driving from Windhoek to the north, to probe the situation.

“Had those nurses attend to her on time, my baby would be still alive,” he said.

Simeon Kaapanda, Paulus’ employer, said he advised Paulus to rather stay at her work accommodation and not to go to her village, which is far from the health centre in order to ensure that she delivers safely. 

“She went to the hospital to get assistance but now it looks as if she went there to dump her baby in the mortuary,” stressed Kaapanda.

He added the ministry of health has always advised nurses to prevent infant and maternal deaths as much as possible.

Contacted for comment, Onesi clinic senior supervisor Helena Nambano said she is not authorised to talk to the media. 

Ben Nangombe, health executive director could not be reached for comment, the Minister of Health and Social Services Kalumbi Shangula also said he is not aware of the mater as it was not yet officially reported to his office. -

2022-08-25  Victoria Kaapanda

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