LINDA SOKO TEMBO Writes
A family in Chembe district has refused to bury the remains of a baby that died during birth demanding that the local health centre management explains to them how the baby died when it was born alive.
Mother of the child, Nora Mulenga, 32, of Milenge district, said as a family they had refused to bury her baby, who reportedly died a few minutes after she gave birth, until management at the hospital explained why it died and accept responsibility over the death.
Ms Mulenga, who is also a Ministry of Health employee in Milenge, claims the baby died because the nurses at the rural clinic neglected her while she was in labour.
Ms. Mulenga’s complaints in her own words.
The following is a transcript of our telephone interview with Mrs. Nora Mulenga:
The Sun: What is your name?
Nora: Ninebo Nora Mulenga (My name is Nora Mulenga).
The Sun: Where do you work?
Nora: Mbomba mu Ministry of Health. Ninebo Community Health Assistant waku Milenge District (I work for the Ministry of Health as a Community Health Assistant for Milenge District).
The Sun: We would like to have your picture. Are you on WhatsApp?
Nora: No I am not. My phone is damaged but I can find someone who has.
The Sun: We heard about your story. Kindly explain to us what exactly happened.
Nora: Hallo. Naishile pa Monday ubushiku, kwati kuma 21 something.
So naliisa naikala mulya mwine baisa njeba ati limbi ukupapa ni mailo.
So efyo naikele palya mpaka Tuesday. So baisa njeba ati limbi Thursday kuti mwapapa.
So nabeba ati efyo mwingalande fyo. But baisa bakaana bafumapo mpaka natumafye abankunshitilako. Efyo babetile kabili ati mupeniko ifyakuti alye. So nakana ati apa teti ndye no kulya kano BP ngayabako bwino.
Baisa isa kwati kuma 20:00hours, banjeba ati, mulifye ukutali sanafye. So after that, efyo naishile lolela again. So, ngalandako ifilifyonse ninshi kukana mpaka kuma 23:00hours epo nabebele ati apo nyambile ndepapatafye mwebantu bakwa Lesa.
Efyo baishile isa, baisula mu bag no kusenda ifyakufwala fya mwana baamba no kufyalulwila, babwela baya ikala no kwikala.
Elyo babwela bambikako na drip, but yaisapwa fast. Ninshi balecite fyo ninshi umbi alempushing’a palufumo, nomba amaka yaisa yachepa.
Baisa njeba ati natulolele twiteko ba doctor, nomba nabo number tayaleba through. Bambi balekana ati teti nyende ubushiku shani nashani.
Mpaka muma 02:00hours efyo umwana aishile fuma ninshi nanaka nokunaka filya fine. Efyo baishile mubika ngafilya.
Naipusha ati umwana alishani? Muposelefye amano kuli ine. Baisa bamusenda umwana, ifyo balecita kumwana nshaishibe.
So efyo chacitike mpaka badoctor baisa kuma 03:00hours. Elyo badoctor bancheking’a ati ninkwata amacrumps, ninshi kunshi uku kwalefuma blood. Efyo baishile mbikako nadrip naimbi.
So efyo napupulwike so nokwipusha ati umwana alishani? Badoctor baishile fuma panse nokwisa njeba ati awe umwana naonaika. So efyo ilyashi lyachitike.
(I went to the clinic on Monday evening, about 21:00hours and I was told I was likely to deliver the following day. The story later changed that I may actually deliver on Tuesday. About 18:00hours on Tuesday, I suddenly began experiencing terrible pains and my blood pressure also shot up. I asked them to get me some freezit so I could cool down my heart but they totally refused, saying there was nothing I knew. I had to ask other people to buy the freezit for me.
The nurses told me my delivery was still far and continued to ignore me. They put me on a drip and started pressing my tummy as one of them kept on squeezing the saline bottle. I felt very weak and they tried to summon the doctor but he was not picking up the call. Others said they could not come because they could not move in the night. The baby finally came out about 02:00hours but looking very weak. They simply put it aside.
The doctor finally came about 03:00hours. He checked me and told me I had cramps. My bleeding still continued and the doctor put me on another drip until I got better. I later inquired about the baby and I was told it had actually died.)
The Sun: So, did you inform them you needed water when the bleeding got worse?
Nora: I asked them to buy me freezit so it could help speed up the contraction but they ignored my request. They only informed me I was bleeding too much during the contractions. I was shocked that the bleeding just continued and the blood was very dark.
The Sun: Was the baby born alive?
Nora: It was born alive and well.
The Sun: So what do you think killed it
Nora: They pressed my tummy very much. They were taking turns with the cleaners while someone else was busy squeezing the drip. That could have caused the death of my baby.
The Sun: Where are you at the moment?
Nora: Apa ndipa clinic apapene kabili takwali ukushika umwana. Limbi lelo bawishi elo balafika pa. (I am still at the clinic because we could not bury the baby. Maybe today when the father arrives).
The Sun: Ninshi tamwashiikiile umwana mailo? (Why didn’t you bury the baby?)
Nora: Family yaisa landa ati bekale panshi balande pafya citike but badoctor baisa kana ati awe tamufwile ukubako bonse. Abafwile ukubako nibawishi bamwana nabanyina bamwana. So tabapokele bwangu permission yakuncito so balaisa lelo. Elyo talaisa ikala panshi. (The family resolved that we discuss this issue – with the hospital management – but the doctor said they could only discuss the matter with the baby’s parents. My husband is most likely to arrive today since he got permission from work late. So we are likely to meet and discuss the matter today.)
The Sun: What would you like the government to do about this issue?
Nora: Awe care mwandini tapaali tekwebati ninebo neka. Same ward mwine, mwali nabaambi abalekompulena. Kuti bacitako cimo so that bacito kusambilila pali ine pantu kuli nabambi abengesa limbi kuti bafwa. Ngakuti bakwato kubasambilisha. (There was no proper care given to me. Other people in the ward also had a similar complaint. Something should be done so that people learn from me. Someone else may not be as fortunate and die in the process. They need to learn something.) +g.n