Another state hospital horror unfolding at Swakop state hospital

Eileen van der Schyff

At the time of going to press yesterday afternoon a woman remained hospitalised at the Swakopmund state hospital, waiting for days already for a medical-induced still birth to take place of her child that died in her womb early on Monday morning.

To make the matter even more horrifying is the woman claims her child would have survived, had medical staff at the state hospital acted promptly to deliver the child through emergency caesarean.
The devastated parents, David Makari and Sara Shikongo, shared their horrifying story with Namib Times.
Giving birth should be one of the most joyous occasions. Parents would understandably be devastated should something go wrong and a baby dies. If the family believes the death is due to a hospital’s negligence, the tragedy is aggravated.
On Saturday (3 April) at 20:10 Shikongo was referred by her private doctor to the Swakopmund state hospital after a sonar showed the amount of amniotic fluid in her womb was low and that this put the fetus at risk.
An emergency caesarean was scheduled for the same night at 10:30.
However, when Shikongo and her life partner, David Makari arrival at the hospital medical staff on duty said they cannot appreciate the urgency and that the private doctor was just out to make money out of them. They were further informed the state hospital does not allow private doctors to work at the state hospital.
The devastated Makari spoke to Namib Times on Tuesday. “The maternity staff at the Swakopmund state hospital was not helpful. The nurse managing the maternity ward allegedly refused that the caesarean be carried out”, he explained.
On Sunday evening the maternity staff put the woman on oxygen. They again removed the oxygen at around 03:00 on Monday. “By this time, the little movement my wife felt inside her womb had completely disappeared”, said Makari.

When Namib Times spoke to the equally devastated Shikongo on Tuesday, she insisted her baby would have survived had the planned emergency caesarean been carried out. “My baby died inside of me. I believe my baby could have been saved”, she said. At the time the newspaper spoke to the parents, it was already more than twenty-four hours since she received medication to induce a still birth.
Whilst at the hospital the newspaper wanted to question the nurse managing the maternity ward. The reply was “she is out”. A senior medical officer was available to comment. Her explanation was the mother was too early in her pregnancy for a birth. That is despite the reporter showing her proof the estimated date of birth was scheduled for approximately 12 April 2021. This senior officer then changed her tune and indicated staff at the hospital are not allowed to speak to the media. She referred all further inquiries to the Regional Health Office.

Namib Times spoke with the father just before going to press yesterday and the situation remains unchanged. There was no still birth yet. The clock was ticking critically for the mother, as the dead fetus in her womb can cause life threatening bleeding or septicemia.

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