IRELAND: External review ordered as Zim-born woman dies after giving birth in hospital

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IRELAND: An expert external review is under way following the death of a woman at University Hospital Kerry after giving birth.

Tatenda Mukwata died at UHK on April 21 and was laid to rest on Tuesday in Kenmare. Her baby daughter was born healthy.

Zimbabwe-born Tatenda was a resident at the Atlantic Lodge direct provision centre in Kenmare and had recently been granted permission to stay in Ireland.

A spokesman for the South/Southwest Hospital Group said that a review is under way following the death.

“The SSWHG wish to confirm that following a maternal death at UHK on April 21, an expert external review immediately commenced at the hospital. This review is ongoing.”

He added: “Management and staff at UHK extend their deepest sympathies to the family of the deceased.”

Lucky Khambule of the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland said that Ms Mukwata’s family is overwhelmed by the circumstances of her death.

“She came to Ireland as an asylum seeker. She got permission to stay in Ireland in January for this year. She was looking for a house now,” he said.

He said a crowdfunding campaign has now been set up to help her young family.

Coroner’s office

A Garda spokeswoman confirmed that Tralee gardaí are currently compiling a file for the Coroner’s Office in relation to the death, which will be the subject of an inquest.

A spokesman for the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth said: “In general, where a person dies while they are being provided with accommodation by [International Protection Accommodation Services], the department works closely with the centre management to assist the person’s next-of-kin, if known, in accessing the full supports provided by the State, and to ensure that any residents affected by the death are assisted in accessing services that can support them during the difficult time.”

He extended the department’s sympathies to Ms Mukwata’s family and friends.

She is survived by her newborn baby and three older daughters, as well as her parents and brother.

Members of the family gathered with friends and relatives at the Holy Cross Church, Kenmare on Tuesday for her funeral Mass.

Vibrant and caring mother

Local priest Fr George Hayes told mourners that she was a “vibrant and caring mother, a loving daughter, a dear friend” who had made many friends while living in Kenmare.

He said she had been planning to do a course in nursing, adding that caring for others was part of her personality.

Fr Hayes said her death “can only leave us reeling — to see a young mother being snatched away before her time”.

School friends and staff of Tatenda’s children took part in the liturgy of the Mass.