A grieving mother this week told the Sunday Standard how she delivered her stillborn baby alone in a deserted Princess Marina ward because there were no midwives to help her.
Kefilwe Ranka of Mogoditshane, who was seven months pregnant, was last week admitted to Princess Marina hospital after suffering complications. The hospital staff administered her medication to induce labour and she had to wait for hours for the midwife.
“At some stage, I realized that the baby was not moving. I tried to call out for help but no one responded.”
Ranka says she waited for hours writhing in pain before a nurse came over and told her that her unborn baby had died.
Her reaction to having to deliver the baby hours after discovering it was dead was one of “horror”. Even after she was told her baby had died, she was left alone for hours to deliver the baby on her own. “I literally delivered my stillborn baby on my own because there was no one to help me,” she said.
Ranka believes her baby, who was born dead, could have been saved had she received help timeously.
When the Sunday Standard approached her, Ranka was attending the burial of her little baby. “Am so stressed and depressed because we are burying the baby,” she said.
Officials at the ministry of Health, however, claim that there are not aware of the incident.
Permanent Secretary at the minister of health, Dr Kolaatamo Malefho, told Botswana Television that the strike had not affected the health sector.
The Permanent Secretary made no mention of the tragedy that had befallen Ranka as a result of the public strike.
In a separate interview, a communications officer at the ministry of Health, Doreen Motshegwa, told this paper that the ministry was not aware of such an incident.
She said that government had created an information centre where all reports are made.
“Am not aware of it and if there is anything to that effect it has not reached our office,” she said.
Ministry officials, however, denied knowledge of such incident and further stated that they have been monitoring their operations and are satisfied with the number of midwives currently on duty.