Outrage in Grabouw after woman gives birth in the street

Grabouw residents demand answers after a woman gave birth outside the local clinic.

Grabouw residents demand answers after a woman gave birth outside the local clinic.

Published Mar 1, 2024


Cape Town - A group of Grabouw residents have demanded answers after a heavily pregnant woman gave birth outside the Community Day Centre (CDC), after having been seen by staff at the facility.

The small group of community members protested outside the clinic on Tuesday, prior to meeting with staff members to discuss the incident.

It was still unclear by yesterday, whether the pregnant woman was told to leave the facility or had willingly left, as another meeting was expected to ascertain the details.

Community activist, Anthia Mentile, said: “When the lady got to the clinic, they took her to the maternity ward and checked everything that they’re supposed to checked. Then they said to the lady, she’s far and must leave and come back when the pains are strong or phone the ambulance to fetch her.

“The lady then left. Within minutes, the woman gave birth in the street. One of the ladies rushed to call the nurses. The sisters came to help the woman and the child was already out. She assisted while the child was already out. My question is now, why did they ask that lady to go home?”

Mentile said they appealed to the provincial Health and Wellness Department, to have MEC Nomafrench Mbombo present at the follow-up meeting scheduled for next Wednesday at the police station.

She said the attitude of some staff members was unacceptable, particularly in the way they dealt with patients.

“It’s really sad what is happening at the day clinic in Grabouw,” Mentile said.

The department confirmed the patient was seen at the facility on Monday with labour pains and was assessed by healthcare workers to determine the stage of labour.

“As the patient was not in active labour at the time she was seen at the clinic, our healthcare workers explained to her that she would be reassessed in four hours to monitor her stage of labour.

“The patient then requested that she return home as she resides close to the facility and said that she would return later,” Overberg Health and Wellness spokesperson, Roche Laws, said.

Laws said as the stage of labour progressed quicker than expected, the patient returned to the facility but could not reach there in time and gave birth outside of the facility with the assistance of healthcare workers.

The mother and baby were then admitted to the birthing unit for observation.

Healthcare workers were also in contact with the patient and were monitoring her progress and postpartum follow-up, Laws added.

“We can confirm that community leaders voiced concerns over the incident and management met with the leaders along with clinic committee representatives and an independent third party (Overberg District Mediator),” Laws said.

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Cape Argus