In a shocking case, a Zimbabwean woman had to walk from her car with a stillborn baby hanging from her legs after striking nurses turned her away labelling her a crybaby.
According to the HealthTimes, the nurses at Harare Central Hospital ignored Valerie Mashiri, 37, who was experiencing labour pains arguing that it was not an emergency. They even labelled her a cry baby in the process.
Valerie is reported to have arrived at the hospital at around 1:00 am, and from the onset, she says she experienced hostility. Narrating her ordeal at Harare Central Hospital, Valerie told the publication,
“As l got to the nurse’s station, the nurse who attended me asked me what the problem was. I explained to her about the cramps and discharge. She then said to me, “Ndozvamafambira Husiku huno [Is this why you come all this way for in the thick of the night]”.
She added that the doctor at the hospital did not even bother checking on her but insisted that she should get a scan first.
“…at this time with what l was feeling and the emotional stress that l had explained, they should have at least checked if everything was ok. I was in pain and could hardly walk or stand but under such hostility, l had to be brave.”
Because she should not afford the exorbitant charges being demanded by a private medical facility for the scans, Valerie braved the pain and decided to come back in the morning.
However, in the morning, she was rushed back to the hospital after her water broke. But much to her consternation, Valerie claims that the nurses did not attend to her. They were still insisting on the scan.
“They kept on insisting that l should come back with a scan. I had to walk out and we went to the radiology centre at Harare Hospital which is on the first floor. l got there and my husband went in and explained to them and the response he got was, there is nowhere it is written that this is an emergency.”
Valerie and her husband then went to the Pagomo Radiology for the scan where they were told that the baby was not breathing. According to the results, the baby’s skull had collapsed with overriding bones and there was severely reduced liquor volume for gestation age.
However, her horror ordeal got worse when she went to clean herself up in the bathroom. She realized that she had lost her child when she saw part of the baby’s body coming out.
“The staff were helpful enough to give me bedding as l got in the car to Harare Hospital. We got to the maternity wing and l had part of my baby hanging down and l could not walk. My husband went inside. He said he told them that l couldn’t walk and they continued doing their own work ignoring me.”
Fortunately, a doctor who was on duty noted their distress and offered to help them after her husband pleaded and begged him to assist them. Valerie reports that the doctor even took the time to counsel them. Valerie added that she was not aware that nurses were on strike until that day,
“The doctor wrote an Ultra Sound Scan request to check if I fully expelled all from the uterus. On my way upstairs, that’s also when I discovered that there was actually a strike by healthcare workers.”
Valerie said that despite the trauma, “she is grateful that at least there was no residue or presence of any foreign body in her womb after the heartbreaking experience.”