Byo Couple Which Lost Baby During Labour Blames Staff Negligence

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A BEREAVED Bulawayo couple is seeking justice after recently losing a baby during labour at Mpilo Central Hospital, a development they have attributed to the hospital’s gross negligence.

Spencer Sibanda (37) of Pelandaba West said the unfortunate incident occurred early September when his wife Sethulelwe Masuku (30) who was due for delivery was taken to the referral centre for assistance.

He said delays by the hospital staff in attending to her resulted in the loss of what could have been their firstborn child.

“My wife was expecting and when she was due, I called a Bulawayo City Council ambulance and they came on 3 September on time around 5 am and rushed her to Mpilo,” said the devastated Sibanda.

“Her scan indicated that she was due in the last week of August. She was, however, left unattended until the following day when they took her to the theatre.”

He said for over 48 hours the hospital staff did not make any efforts to give her food, induce labour or perform a Caesarean section.

The baby reportedly died while the mother was still in labour.

“After finally operating on her they refused to prescribe any medication to mitigate pain,” he said.

“After begging them for some time they wrote the prescription and I went to buy the tablets but when I returned they refused to administer the medication to her. I was told to wait for those on night duty and it was 17:20 hours when they said so.”

He explained further: “My wife was further transferred to a ward for nursing mothers where she endured trauma for the weekend, only to be discharged Monday late afternoon. There is a nurse by the name Sister Musuna who also harassed my wife and when I asked her about it she said: “you can go wherever you want.”

He, however, said after approaching a matron, the nurse had to later apologise.

Sibanda said the student doctor, only identified as Dr Mufurire, who carried out the operation apologised to his wife for their failure to do it on time while admitting their negligence.

“The hospital also phoned her to apologise,” said Sibanda

“But is that word of mouth apology enough when a life has been lost without any disciplinary action being taken against the offender? I need help on this issue so I can get justice for my family and for the City of Bulawayo residents who are enduring the loss of mothers and babies due to gross human negligence.”

Mpilo Hospital acting clinical director, Dr Francis Chiwora, said he was not aware of the issue, adding he would have to go through records to familiarise himself with the case, but was also quick to say they do not share patients’ information with the press.

“Honestly, I have no idea of what you are talking about, I would need to obviously go through the notes of this patient for me to be able to comment,” he said.

“And generally we don’t comment about patients’ affairs to the press. Remember, there is confidentiality; patients can tell you. We are tied by our own professional issues. I can’t possibly give you information about a patient. We can tell the patient if there is something that has gone wrong with the patient. They can come to us and we will talk to them.”

Meanwhile, the same hospital this week warned its staff against negligence which has in the past seen patients being neglected with others unnecessarily dying at the referral health institution.

Acting chief executive officer, Dr Solwayo Ngwenya circulated a memo to all departments and wards warning staff against negligence.

“It has come to our attention that there is deterioration in discipline in the hospital,” said Dr Ngwenya, in a memo dated 27 September 2021 and titled “Patients’ Dignity, Care and Safety.”

“This is compromising service delivery, and putting the care and safety of patients at intolerable risks. This memo is to remind everyone about our core values of compassion, treating all patients with dignity and acting in all reasonable manner to prevent all preventable deaths.”

He challenged the employees to work as a team for the benefit of patients at the health institution.