MASERU — A four months old baby who was abandoned by her mother at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital last month is critically ill in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
Baby Ntsoaki Mahasa, who was admitted in the postnatal ward on June 15, six days after her birth prematurely at 28 weeks, is suffering from a heart-related ailment (congestive heart disease).
The hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit staff yesterday said they named her after her mother Ntsoaki Mahasa, as she had not been given a name when her mother abandoned her.
Mahasa, the baby’s mother, left baby Ntsoaki at the hospital last month under the pretext that she was going to apply for the baby’s birth certificate and travel documents to enable her to travel to Bloemfontein for further treatment.
Since then, hospital authorities say, Mahasa never returned to the hospital while other relatives also listed on the patient’s registration documents never visited Ntsoaki.
Hospital authorities are now at a loss as to how to deal with the case.
Weighing only 1.16 kilogrammes, her condition continued to deteriorate until last week, October 4, when she was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit.
According to the nurses caring for her, she suffered a respiratory failure — a complication they suspected might have resulted from her swollen heart and its inability to pump blood normally.
“Baby Ntsoaki’s condition is very poor and unless she is rushed to Bloemfontein as soon as possible, we might lose her,” Matlhonolofatso Lekoeneha, the postnatal intensive care unit shift leader in charge of baby Mahasa said yesterday.
The baby is sedated most of the time but even in her sleep she still wriggles and cries.
“These are signs of pain and probably also irritation from the tubes. She cries most of the time, both in her sleep and when she is awake,” Lekoeneha said.
According to the sister-in-charge of the postnatal ward ‘Matsebo Mpeta, where baby Ntsoaki was initially admitted, they had been trying to stabilise her poor condition since June 21.
“The baby has been under intravenous therapy and struggles to breathe because of the heart condition,” Mpeta said.
“We have tried to contact the mother on her mobile phone but it goes unanswered. We also tried the number of the man she claimed was baby Ntsoaki’s father but the number does not exist,” Mpeta said.
Hospital spokesperson, Limpho Seeiso said it was heartbreaking that an innocent child has to endure so much suffering without the support of her family.
She said the hospital has already reported the matter to the police to help locate the mother (Mahasa).
“We are also engaging the Ministry of Home Affairs for guidance and assistance to get the necessary documents that would enable us to take the baby for treatment in South Africa,” Seeiso said.
She said the hospital is appealing for assistance from anyone who might know Ntsoaki Mahasa from Lesobeng in Thaba Tseka.
“We understand she stays in Ha Thetsane and sells various wares at the Manonyane bus stop. We would like her to know that her daughter is critically sick and needs her,” Seeiso said.