Three nurses from Phalombe Health Centre have been suspended by the district council on allegations that they denied a woman in labour access to the labour ward, district officials said over the weekend.
Maureen Chilikutali, Mphatso Chanza and Mercy Sonjera reportedly denied 18-year-old Alinafe Mtsinje access to the facility.
Mtsinje, who comes from Filisi Village in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Kaduya, was forced to give birth to her first-born son in a bathroom drainage at the health centre after the three nurses failed to assist her.
Phalombe, District Commissioner, Gossam Mafuta, said the council had suspended the nurses and put them on half pay pending further investigations on the matter.
“We were saddened to learn about the story because, as a district council, we thought this is not the type of medical attention expectant women should get,” Mafuta said.
He said that the conduct of the three could have caused two deaths— that of the woman and her baby— if it was not for elderly women who assisted the girl to deliver her child.
“Our fear is that such conduct by health personnel would prevent expectant women from delivering at health facilities with the assistance of qualified midwife nurses,” Mafuta said.
Spokesperson for Phalombe District Health Office (DHO), Daniel Chilomo, confirmed the development, saying the hospital’s administration has so far facilitated their leave of office.
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