A WOMAN was forced to give birth in the lobby of the University Teaching Hospital maternity wing on Saturday while waiting to be
attended to. The incident happened around 17:20 hours, and had to take quick action by visitors at the hospital who covered the woman with chitenge materials as they waited for health workers to help the expectant mother. After a while, a nurse appeared and she was seen slowlyputting on gloves to join the women who were helping the woman to give birth. Afterwards more nurses arrived and covered the baby before taking it to the ward. Minutes later the woman was also taken away. According to women who
gathered at the entrance of the maternity wing, the pregnant woman had pleaded for medical attention on arrival at the hospital but it took time for health personnel to attend to her, causing her to deliver on the floor before reaching the ward. The women said the growing levels of negligence shown by nurses was a source of worry as they were putting the lives of people at risk, adding that the floors were dirty and exposed people to many diseases. They complained that the nurses were reluctant to attend to emergency cases such as women in labour, saying in most cases nurses delayed to attend to patients even if they could see that the case needed urgent medical attention. The women alleged that nurses took time to attend to patients because they spent most of their time ‘‘busy chatting’’ among themselves and ignored what was happening in the wards and in emergency rooms. “It is not the first time such a thing is happening in these hospitals. We are women and we know what it means. The same lady who has just delivered on the floor was actually here and she stood for a long time waiting to be attended to but to no avail, not until she delivered on floor,’’ one woman said. “Health personnel only show seriousness when they see cases of such nature, which is not fair. Sometimes if you don’t shout at them, they ignore you, and they pretend as if they do not see that someone is really in pain,” another woman said. But some health personnel defended their colleagues, saying that sometimes pregnant women sought medical attention late and it was challenging to help them.