Mpumalanga hospital in baby mix-up saga as boy child is replaced with a girl

A 34-year-old Mpumalanga mother who was told she had given birth to a boy is demanding answers after her family discovered the infant is female.

This after the mother claimed to have self-delivered the baby without the assistance of the nursing staff.

This episode has left the family uncertain as to whether this was a genuine error or if their child was exchanged.

Family spokesperson Surprise Nkuna stated that the incident occurred last month at the Matikwane Hospital, Mkhuhlu, Bushbuckridge.

“We are extremely traumatised because we do not know whether or not the child we have at home is ours. The hospital initially denied any impropriety, but when confronted about the matter, a hospital official added the letters ‘female’ in front of the male designation on the child’s identification card.

“Our family is outraged, and we demand the truth,” he said.

Nkuna said the family had promptly requested DNA tests to be conducted to determine the mother and child’s relationship.

Although the hospital agreed to their request, they now have doubts about the DNA results.

“The results confirmed that the baby is authentically the mother’s, but we suspect a cover-up. We know that hospital personnel examine the gender of the infant first. It is impossible for them to have made a blunder. There’s something fishy about this,” said Nkuna.

To add insult to injury, the mother claims she was compelled to give birth alone unassisted. She said the nurses only attended to her after the birth of her child.

“I delivered the baby by myself. The only reason the nurses arrived was to cut the umbilical cord and accompany me to the maternity ward. The nurses on the ward informed me that the infant was male, confirming what I saw on the wrist tag. When I returned home, my mother undressed the child for a bath and received the biggest shock of her life. The baby was a girl,” the mother said, requesting anonymity.

The infant’s mother confirmed that they called the hospital and requested that a DNA test be conducted.

“I am concerned that the tests were performed at the Rob Ferreira facility, which is also a public hospital. It would be simple to manipulate the results in the department’s favour. I would be satisfied if new tests were administered at a private institution,” she said.

In a letter seen by Sunday World, the hospital acknowledged the incident and said an investigation was ongoing.

“Matikwana Hospital acknowledges receipt of your letter of complaint, and we would like to thank you for submitting a complaint as it assists the health establishment to improve the quality of health services rendered to the users,” the letter read. “Please be informed the complaint is being attended to for further investigation and redress. Kindly note that the time frame for a complaint is within 25 working days.”

It is not the first time the hospital has been accused of mistreating expectant mothers. A nurse was found guilty early last year after failing to assist a woman during childbirth.

The Mpumalanga department of health deemed her guilty after conducting an investigation, but only warned her not to repeat the offence.

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