Gokwe woman lose baby at the hands of negligent nurses

Share on whatsapp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print

Simbarashe Fenton Mushonga

21 year old Gokwe woman has no kind words for health staff at Gokwe  District Hospital; whom she allege are responsible the for the death of her newly born baby in February 2022 because of their lack of commitment to duty and a callous attitude unbefitting professional health workers, Community Voices can reveal.

Speaking at a community media discussion forum organized by Community Voices Zimbabwe in Zhombe recently, Chidhume poured her heart when the gathering was deliberating on the state of maternal mortality in the country. Sharing her experiences  with this publication, Mordacious recalls her ordeal at the hands of Gokwe District Hospital  medical personnel whose laxity and dereliction of duty, she alleges, led to the death of her newly born baby.

Chidhume went to Gokwe District Hospital on the 9th of February following recommendation from Cheziya Clinic that she would undergo Ceasarian section under the conviction that she would be in the hands of experts to preside over her delivery.

“So I was very aware I was going for C-section and arrived at GDH around 2pm. I was told there was no situ hence I was being transferred to Kwekwe General Hospital only to be told again they had found it but I urgently needed code clamps and cotton wool. I complied and sent someone to the pharmacy to buy”, she narrated.

During interview with this publication, it emerged that Chidhume endured excruciating pain from 2pm to 8pm without anyone attending to her until when the Dr who conducted the procedure showed up. The procedure was a success and Chidhume relishes how she delivered a seemingly healthy and bouncing baby.

“I went to the theatre around past 9pm where the operation was conducted and about 1 and half an hour or so I was back. When I came back to the ward where the child was, I realised that my child was not breathing properly, so I informed uncle (male nurse) who had helped me on my way back from the theatre on a wheel chair that my child was not breathing well and he called another nurse. I then told another sister who ignored my request.

“I then called for help for the second time, another sister then shouted that, ‘breast feed your child, it happens to the child especially after being administered a drug’, she then kept quiet aloof. I kept on calling for help because I could not breast feed the child, I kept on trying up to midnight but all that could not work”, she said tears failing her.

“In my mind I had already registered the child was gone although it was difficult to accept. While in that agony I witnessed another pregnant woman writhing in pain being instructed not to push the baby until the nurse tell her to do so. The woman was struggling and that added my pain. I still see her in my mind. It was a bad sight that will haunt me forever. Giving birth seems to be criminal in Zimbabwe especially in rural areas where one is subjected to untold suffering but no one reports or writes about that. We only read in the press about cases in big hospitals like Parirenyatwa and others where the media presence is guaranteered always”, continued heartbroken Chidhume.

Citizens at a Community Voices Zimbabwe community media listening forum 

Still with no one ready to assist her , Chidhume  continued checking her breathless child until 4am am when another woman next to her was giving birth to twins with one child having been delivered while the second showed legs first a development which shocked her. She screamed for help on behalf of the woman.

“The very same sister came , told me to wake up and check my own child’s heartbeat. I struggled because I was not administered medication for pain. I told her that my child was already dead as it was different from what I had seen after theatre. I checked the heartbeat  and there was nothing.  I declared my child dead myself. We then found out that the code clamp was not clipping on the umbilical code, it was open and the child bled white to death. At birth there was no anomaly and my child was very healthy. Loss of blood killed my child” explained tear filled Mordacious

Apart from neglecting their duties and routine checkups on patients who made numerous calls for help, the medical staff are said to have lied even in the report that the child was found to have passed on during one of the routine check ups which is however not true according to the victim who allegedly endured unfair treatment even after losing her child.

“What pains me most is how they lied in one of the reports where they said the child was found dead during one of the routine checkups, which is not true as I was the one who called for help the whole night and could not be assisted. From there my child was sent to the mortuary and I was told to move to the ward”, added Chidhume.

CVZ discovered that Gokwe District Hospital failed again to give care to the victim as she was forced to use her own funds to buy medication for her to recover from the operation while admitted for three days at the female ward. We further understood that the victim did not get any form of counselling for the traumatic experiences.

What hurts the victim most is how the Sister in Charge at Gokwe District Hospital, Sr. Mushanga defended her staff all the way , blamming the the victim citing pressure in the ward although only one patient went for C-section.

Efforts to communicate with the hospital’s senior staff were unfruitful as Sr. Mushanga ignored the messages sent to her only to respond after some time.

“My office is not allowed to comment with the media, the only person allowed to talk to the media is the DMO, thank you. Unfortunately I cannot also share the DMOs number with you. If you may follow normal procedure of communication between the media and government that would help us all” said Mushanga.

Successive efforts were made to get clarity from the Provincial Medical Director (PMD) Dr. Muchekeza who also ignored messages sent her .

This reporter contacted the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care who then referred him back to the PMD who promptly responded after noting the communication had reached the Deputy Minster.

“I did manage to go through your questions. I am looking into the issue to get all facts on the ground first from the DMO, he will be sending me the full report this week”. Responded Dr. Muchekeza via WhatsApp.

Maternal mortality remains a major headache for Zimbabwe in view of fulfilling Sustainable Development Goal number three which among other things speaks to the need to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. The SDG 3 targets the reduction of maternal mortality, ending all preventable deaths under the age of 5years. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Zimbabwe is one the countries with a high maternal mortality registering 614 deaths per 100 000 live births. In recommendation, UNFPA places critical need in the development of policies, guidelines and strategies on reproductive health, provision of extensive health provider training on life saving emergency obstetric and neonatal care, and refurbishing of health facilities including maternal waiting homes among other critical needs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *