Phalombe district council has suspended three nurses from Phalombe Health Centre on allegations that they denied a woman in labor access to the labor ward.
The three nurses are Maureen Chilikutali, Mphatso Chanza and Mercy Sonjera and have since been put on half pay.
The development comes nearly two months after a published report indicating that an 18-year-old woman Alinafe Mtsinje was denied access to labor ward while experiencing labor pain, on grounds that the room was being mopped.
Mtsinje, who comes from Filisi Village in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Kaduya, consequently delivered her first-born son in a bathroom drainage at the health center. This was after her two attempts to find her way into the labour ward to be assisted by qualified nurses proved futile.
Speaking in an interview after communicating the suspension, District Commissioner (DC) for Phalombe Gossam Mafuta said the council had suspended the three nurses 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 added that the conduct of the three could have caused two deaths, the woman and her baby, if it wasn’t for elderly women who assisted the girl to deliver her child.
Added Mafuta: “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.”
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.
According to Chilomo, the suspended nurses have complied with the suspension without any challenge.