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Hospital turns away pregnant woman

by Lesotho Times

MASERU — An expectant 24-year-old woman, ‘Metsana Rapotsane, was allegedly turned away by authorities at the new Tšepong Hospital when she went there to deliver last Tuesday night.

Rapotsane’s uncle, Mohapinyana, told the Lesotho Times this week that her relative went into labour last Tuesday night and they took her to the new state-of-the-art facility.

“It was around 12 midnight when ‘Metsana felt some labour pains at home. Her water had broken and we hired a taxi to take her to Tšepong Hospital,” Mohapinyane said.

But the family’s expectations were turned into a nightmare as they were turned away at the hospital’s reception, Mohapinyane said.

He said they were told they could not be attended to since they had failed to produce a referral letter.

“We were told to go back and get a referral letter from a doctor at one of the local clinics. We were devastated as she was in pain,” he said.

Mohapinyane said because time was running out they quickly proceeded to Qoaling Filter Clinic where ‘Metsana gave birth to a baby girl just a few minutes after arrival.

“We found a nurse at the clinic who attended to ‘Metsana as soon as we arrived. We were lucky we found someone who was willing to help us because the baby was close to being born.

“We were not even sure if we were going to get any help,” he said.

“It was by the grace of God that she delivered the baby at a safe place. It could have happened in the streets just because she did not have a piece of paper that showed that she had been referred,” added ‘Metsana’s mother, ‘Matello.

A public relations officer in the Ministry of Health, ‘Mateboho Mosebekoa, said she was investigating the matter.

Mosebekoa said she had however discovered that some patients had been turned away at the entrance by security guards at the hospital.

“I’m already investigating this particular matter,” she said, adding that the hospital offers emergency services.

Efforts to contact the hospital’s administration officers failed.

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