Published on: 29 May 2023 Category: Media Statement

Saturday, 27 May 2023

The North West Department of Health MEC Madoda Sambatha embarked on a fact finding visit last night, 26 May 2023 at the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital’s Neonatal section following the circulation of images depicting new-born babies placed in cardboard boxes on various social media platforms.

“My interaction with management at the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital confirmed that the photos were of babies admitted at the hospital last Saturday, 20 May 2023. The incident occurred at around 11:00 when a total of fifty six (56) healthy babies were delivered at the neonatal ward on the day. It was further established that the hospital had only thirty one (31) functional Cribs and sixteen (16) Incubators, meaning that the facility had a capacity to accommodate only forty seven (47) babies according to the health prescription, therefore nine (9) babies were not provided for “ MEC Madoda Sambatha explained.

Upon being made aware of the plight of the babies delivered at the hospital, the MEC issued an instruction for the mobilisation of additional cribs and incubators from nearby hospitals to address the over-capacity. Eighteen (18) cribs and incubators were delivered to MPH yesterday, 26 May 2023 .

The MEC held a meeting with the hospital’s senior management after receiving a preliminary report from the Provincial Health Quality Assurance team. The following were outcomes of the meeting:

• An investigation t be conducted into the incident.

• The MPH Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was instructed to implement consequences management actions against officials responsible for day to day running of the neonatal section in line with the prescripts of the Labour Relations Act.

Information at the department’s disposal indicates that the incident was not reported to the CEO by the nursing management in charge of the neonatal unit.

“I have issued an instruction for the CEO to conduct an internal investigation which must be concluded by Tuesday, 30 May 2023 and for the Nurse in charge together with the Nursing Manager be placed on precautionary suspension pending the final outcome of the investigation “concluded MEC Sambatha.

MEC Madoda Sambatha apologises profusely to the families of the babies who were put through the humiliating and unsafe experience by the hospital. The MEC further assures the entire community of the North West Province that a team of specialists in neonatal services will be dispatched to the MPH to evaluate and assess the process and procedures at the facility to curb future occurrences.

Enquiries :

Tebogo Lekgethwane Departmental Spokesperson 0674227763

Khuthala Tshangela MLO MEC Support 0664586915

Issued by North West Department of Health

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