The Ministry of Health has said it may take disciplinary action against midwives who refused to attend to a pregnant woman at Bwaila Hospital last Sunday night.

The midwives’ alleged negligence cost the life of the unidentified 36-year-old mother and her twins.
Guardians of other patients told journalists that they informed the midwife on duty about the deceased’s deteriorating situation but the nurse was reluctant to offer her services as she busied herself with chatting on social media.

“I witnessed the death of the patient. When she asked for help through a relative, the nurse on duty shouted at the woman for bothering her. She came later after some time passed, only to find that the deceased had collapsed,” said one of the guardians.

Ministry of Health Principal Secretary (PS), Dan Namarika, told the Daily Times on Sunday that the ministry regrets what happened to the mother and will do everything possible to bring the culprits to book.

“We are waiting for results of the postmortem. We expect the Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi (NMCM) to give us guidance on what action to take against the midwife in question. But any professional misconduct [that] is punishable,” Namarika said.

However, the PS did not commit himself on how soon the bereaved family and the rest of Malawians should expect the dish of justice to be served in the matter.

NMCM Executive Director, Dorothy Ngoma, said what happened at Bwaila Hospital is a sign of complacency in the health sector.

“It is unfortunate that the woman died when she was expectant. She went to the hospital to seek help but losing her life in that way is something that is regrettable,” she said.

Ngoma said the incident might have happened due to inadequate supervision of junior health workers, which leads to poor service delivery.

While blaming the government for failing to recruit sufficient midwives, she also noted that such incidents are due to poor conduct of some nurses.

“The nurse on duty might have been negligent but we need to know where other service providers were at the time to help the one on duty,” she said.

Malawi has about 6,000 nurses and midwives against the required number of 23,000, according to NMCM.

The Maravi Post has over one billion views since its inception in December of 2009. Viewed in over 100 countries Follow US: Twitter @maravipost Facebook Page : maravipost Instagram: maravipost