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Image credit: Pixabay/Parentingupstream

“They were trying to kill me” – says patient reportedly beaten by nurses

A 28-year-old woman from Mpumalanga said nurses beat her after she was forced to give birth on her own. 

stethoscope hospital

Image credit: Pixabay/Parentingupstream

Mavis Sikhosana spoke to Zoe Mahopo from Sowetan Live shortly after the incident. She wants justice to be served to the nurses who mistreated her when she needed them the most.

According to Sikhosana, the nurses were responsible for the bruises all over her face and body. She went into labour on 24 October. When she arrived at the hospital, she was given a bucket to vomit in but passed out soon after.

Sikhosana was rudely awoken by a nurse who ordered to clean up after herself. The distressed patient said:

“I fell asleep and was woken up by the nurse. She said to me, ‘hey wena [you], wake up and clean up your vomit’. I was weak and experiencing contractions, but I gathered enough strength to discard the vomit inside the toilet.”

Later as she went into labour, the nurse left the room, reportedly because she couldn’t stand Sikhosana’s screams. As the pain intensified, Sikhosana was too weak to call for help, and one of the other patients in the ward alert a nurse.

By the time the nurse showed up, Sikhosana had already given birth. She lost consciousness soon after that and woke up with bruises all over her face body. Sikhosana believes that the nurses tried to kill her “in order to avoid getting in trouble for neglecting [her] while [she] was in labour.”

The following day, Sikhosana was transferred to Witbank Hospital were her injuries were treated, but she demands justice and wants the nurses to be held responsible for their despicable behaviour.

Sowetan Live spoke to Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, who confirmed that a case of negligence was opened, but not assault.

“According to the information contained in the statement, we do not have an indication that the woman was beaten. We then saw it fit to open a case that has got to do with negligence on the side of health practitioners. If new facts surface indicating that she was beaten then we will look at assault.”

Dumisani Malamule, the spokesperson for the provincial health department, also confirmed to Sowetan Live that they were aware of the case and that a full investigation will be launched.

Read: Rahima Moosa Hospital: “The hospital has violated the right of access to health” – says SAHRC

This does not appear to be an isolated case, and several Twitter users shared their own horror stories online. One user said when his mother went into labour, “all the nurses at the station next to her were all laughing saying she will be dead by morning.” He said they “did bury her that weekend,” and added:

“I know they have a tough job on their hands. But the level of basic care is below zero. I’m constantly praying to God to not hate all nurses i come across, but I fear them so much.”

Another user said she experienced “excruciating labour pain on a cold floor and they called me all sorts of names for crying,” while another added:

“This is nothing, come to Stellenbosch hospital and you will see what is brutality, in labour women. It’s disgusting.”

Read: 20 000 injured patients: Here are the most negligent hospitals in Gauteng