Babalwa L's story
Babalwa tells of how she lost her baby because of an incompetent nurse.
Babalwa M.’s private doctor referred her to a district hospital for obstetric care because she had serious asthma. But when she went into labour in June 2010, she hesitated to go to the hospital because she feared the nurses would “quarrel me and send me back home without help,” as happened to other women she knew.

After about 12 hours of labour, Babalwa went to the hospital but health staff did not examine her for about an hour and a half. When a nurse finally did examine her, Babalwa said, “The sister said I was lying about being in labour and sent me to the waiting area.” A doctor examined her 3 hours later, but it was too late. She delivered a stillborn baby. Neither the doctor nor the nurse explained what may have caused the stillbirth.

“I was unhappy about the way I was treated; being told that I was lying about being in labour pain, and being delayed,” she said. “What is still paining me most is that I don’t know what killed my baby.”

“I did not complain to the hospital,” she said. “They say the patient has rights but when you are there [in the hospital] you don’t feel it. People don’t know their rights. You don’t know what questions to ask, or who to ask.”

Have you experienced bad care in a hospital?

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