Pregnant women at Balaka District Hospital went on a hunger strike last week to force the hospital’s management to discipline a nurse they accused of gross negligence.
In an interview, Enele Suwedison of Pendanyama Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Ganya in Ntcheu, said women at the maternity waiting shelter were angry because a male nurse on duty on Tuesday night neglected pregnant women who were about to go in labour.
“The women went in good time to the labour ward only to be insulted and sent back, a delay which caused the deaths of three newborns and this sent fear among expectant women,” she said.
While confirming the three stillbirths at the hospital, Balaka district health officer Eugene Katenga-Kaunda denied that there was negligence on the part of the nurse.
“The women were told to ambulate [walk or run around] within the hospital premises which is normal because of the height of their descent, but there was a misunderstanding as the women thought they were being sent back,” he said.
Katenga-Kaunda said the women who were told to ambulate delivered, but a few days earlier there were cases of stillbirths due to foetal distress. n