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Tell MEC Tsiu, preventable deaths of babies and women in Pelonomi Hospital must end

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Tell MEC Tsiu, preventable deaths of babies and women in Pelonomi Hospital must end
Tell MEC Tsiu, preventable deaths of babies and women in Pelonomi Hospital must end
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Infants and their mothers are dying in their numbers at Pelonomi hospital in the Free State. The infant mortality rate at Pelonomi has skyrocketed from 7.3% in 2017 to 11.2% in 2018, this is 3 times higher than the national rate of 3.6% per 1000 live births [1]. In June 2018 after a mother bled to death because she wasn't taken to theater on time because of staff shortages, nurses at Pelonomi downed tools demanding that the Department of Health improve their working conditions, nurses stood up because staff shortages, lack of access to functioning theaters and lack of equipment directly result in the high numbers of babies and mothers dying in Pelonomi [2]. Just four months after the strike, Ntebaleng Finger’s newborn baby has died under mysterious circumstances at Pelonomi hospital, proving that the conditions at Pelonomi are worsening [3].

How long until another baby or woman dies? 6 months after nurses at Pelonomi went on strike, conditions have not improved and the situation continues to worsen, mothers and babies are dying in their numbers. This is the time for us to take action and pressure the government to do something. Ntebaleng Finger’s tragic story shocked many, and already staff in the hospital have been striking and demanding action. If enough of us take action we could build enough pressure, and the MEC may not have any choice but to act.

Dear MEC Tsui we demand that you ensure that the following is done urgently:

We demand that you compile a report on the causes of each infant and mother’s death recorded at this ward during the last two years, and release it by 31st December 2018.

We demand that you put in place urgent measures that will drastically reduce the high infant mortality rate at Pelonomi, including:

Hiring more staff that are qualified to work in maternity by 31st December 2018.
Increasing security personnel by 31st December 2018.
Fixing non operational theaters in the ward by 30 April 2019.
Acquire the necessary equipment that is lacking by 30 April 2019.

[1] High infant death rate in ‘dysfunctional’ ward, Piet Motaung for Health- E News October 26, 2018
[2] Nurses force hospital to hire more staff after patient death, Zoe Mahapo for Sowetan Live 28 June 2018
[3] DOCTOR STOLE MY BABY, Kabelo Tlhabanelo For The Dailysun 19 October 2018

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How long until another baby or woman dies? 6 months after nurses at Pelonomi went on strike, conditions have not improved and the situation continues to worsen, mothers and babies are dying in their numbers. Ntebaleng Finger’s tragic story shocked many, and already staff in the hospital have been striking and demanding action. If enough of us take action we could build enough pressure, and the MEC may not have any choice but to act.