A pregnant woman with severe stomach pains was sent away by the Dan Clinic just outside Tzaneen without being checked.
A pregnant woman, who was sent home after arriving at her local clinic with severe abdominal pains, gave birth to a healthy baby girl in the street a short while later.
Sent straight back home
The woman, who was eight months pregnant, went to the Dan Clinic in Dan Village just outside Tzaneen on 18 April. She was experiencing severe pains and wanted to check that everything was alright.
The woman, who has asked not be named as she does not feel comfortable with being publicly identified, was given some pain pills, sent straight back home and told to return only if the pain persisted. She was not referred to a doctor or hospital for any further checks as she had not yet reached her due delivery date.
“I went to the clinic complaining about the severe pain in my stomach, and the nurse gave me pills and sent me back home without taking a good look of what could be the cause of the pain,” the woman said.
“When I explained that the pain was too much, the nurse said that because I was not bleeding they could not do an internal check as that will cause a miscarriage. So she said I should go home and come back if the pain continues,” the mother said.
She left the clinic, but as she walked home the pain continued increasing. Before she made it home she ended up giving birth in the street, assisted by passing strangers.
“I am not angry with the nurses. It was an unfortunate situation to have happened. I didn’t know what was wrong and neither did they, so I can’t blame them,” said the mother.
However, Treatment Action Campaign’s (TAC) Provincial Literacy Trainer, Daniel Mathebula was outraged, stating that similar incidents were happening too often at public health institutions.
“We cannot tolerate such behaviour from our health care workers. We have seen cases like this where some patients are turned away from clinics while they are in labour. Some have given birth at the clinic gates due to poor checks and we can’t tolerate that. We would like to take this matter forward if the mother will allow us,” Mathebula said.
The Limpopo Department of Health spokesperson Derick Kganyago said the case would be investigated to establish what exactly had transpired.