Shortage of incubators and cribs forces nurses to place newborn babies in boxes. The North West Department of Health has opened an investigation into the claims that Mahikeng Hospital lacks incubators and cribs. This comes after social media users shared pictures of hospitalized newborns being placed inside boxes.
Shortage of incubators and cribs forces nurses to place newborn babies in boxes
A worried hospital employee who had access to a private account created the images because she believed the North West Department was unconcerned with the newborn infants. Madoda Sambatha, the provincial health minister, expressed his horror at learning that newborn hospital patients in the neonatal unit were kept in boxes rather than incubators or cribs.
“The hospital management has indicated that their preliminary internal investigation has revealed that the incident happened on Saturday and the management was not aware of the incident,” he said.
Because there are protocols and procedures in place that should have directed the hospital on a solution if there were any issues with a scarcity of incubators at the time, Sambatha stated that his department takes this subject seriously.
“There are also management meetings that are held every Monday morning which normally look into the weekend reports and yet this incident was never reported. The department will institute further investigation to establish how much time was spent by these babies inside these boxes. Under normal circumstances when staff members come across situations that are dire over the weekend, they should call the managers so that relevant alternatives can be organised,” he said.
Sambatha has ordered a prompt investigation into the situation. He added that urgent plans are being made to provide additional cribs to the hospital right away.
‘The CEO is following up on procurement processes, which are underway in the hospital for additional incubators and cribs,” Sambatha added.