Nurses suspended over placing newborn babies in boxes. Two nurses who were directly connected to a facility where newborn infants were placed in boxes have been suspended by the North West Department of Health.
This comes after the department started looking into claims that the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital was lacking on incubators and cribs. This comes after social media users shared pictures of hospitalized newborns being placed inside boxes.
A worried hospital employee who used a secret account posted the images because she believed the North West Department was unconcerned about the newborn infants. Then, as if that weren’t enough, today, nurses at the same hospital staged a demonstration in support of two senior nurses who have been placed on administrative leave. Due to a lack of incubators, the nurses are accused of putting newborn babies on cardboard boxes.
North West Department of Health spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane confirmed the nurses’ suspension. “The department is aware of the decision of some of our employees and some nurses at the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital who decided to protest the decision to suspend the nursing manager and the nurse responsible for that unit. It is important to note that the suspension of the nurses does not mean that the nurses are guilty or have been found guilty. The suspension is to allow the investigation since the unit they are managing is directly affected. The department will be monitoring the situation because what is important is service delivery at the hospital,” he said.
The newborns being placed inside boxes is not shocking, according to the Democratic Nursing Organization of South Africa (DENOSA) in the North West. According to a statement from DENOSA, the situation does not require further inquiry because it is a daily reality that healthcare professionals in healthcare service centers deal with as a result of a lack of resources and equipment. The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the hospital has been operating without 20 incubators and cribs for a considerable amount of time, according to the province’s Denosa chairperson, Motlalepule Maikepa.
“The unit has 25 incubators, and had more than 55 babies on the day in question, looked after by only seven nurses. The matter of procuring the incubators and cribs has been with procurement for a long time.