A family in Tembisa on Gauteng’s east rand is in limbo as they await DNA results to determine whether a baby that died at the Tembisa Hospital is theirs.
It has been a grueling six-month wait and the police do not know when the test results will be available.
The father of the baby, Herbert Mutshena, says his wife Butshilo gave birth at the Tembisa Hospital on the 1 February this year. However, hours later they were informed that their baby boy had died.
The couple is not satisfied with how the matter was handled. “At around 9 she called me to tell me she gave birth. From 9, 10 11 12, 1 she called again saying she was told the baby died. Immediately when she gave birth they should have told her that the baby had problems but they didn’t do that.”
SABC’s Thabile Mbhele reports…
‘Hospital hiding something’
Mutshena says they feel like the hospital is hiding something. “I asked where is the nurse who helped her deliver the child, she said she took the child and left. A second nurse came and only the third nurse told her the baby had died. She also told me that the baby had died and said we must go and see the baby. They showed me the baby, I asked if the mother of the baby had seen the baby and she said no, they were afraid to show her and I asked why because she gave birth to the baby.”
‘Baby struggling to breathe’
However, the hospital maintains that, at birth, the baby was struggling to breathe and had to be resuscitated immediately.
“The baby was not breathing well on delivery. The baby was taken away from the mother, they went to resuscitate the patient at the resuscitation room, and after the resuscitation failed the doctors went to the mother to explain to her that the baby didn’t make it. Then the next day I was surprised the father came in with a police officer here who opened the case that the hospital swapped the baby,” says Assistant Manager for Quality Assurance at Tembisa Hospital Sylvia Chiloane.
The police have confirmed that Mutshena opened a case. Spokesperson Kay Makhubele says they took DNA samples from both the baby and the mother.
“ There is a case which is under investigation in this matter. The police have sent the DNA to forensic so the DNA results are still outstanding however we are continuing with our investigation.”
Chiloane says the hospital is still in possession of the baby’s body and they are in constant contact with the police on the DNA issue. It is unclear when the DNA results will be available, which may bring the Mutshena’s closure to this emotional ordeal.