From depths of ‘hell’

Baby rescued from pit latrine

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LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes

@SunZambian

A SEVENTEEN year old girl has narrated a frightening experience of how she gave birth and the baby dropped into a pit latrine at Chembe’s Kasoma Lwela Rural Health Centre.

According to a Police reservist who later rescued the baby, Foybey Mwewa had been waiting to be seen by the nurses on duty when she went to relieve herself in the pit latrine and on the third trip to the loo, gave birth.

However, the matter has not been reported to Ministry of Health in Lusaka and the nurses involved have reportedly been secretly  relocated, Damson Chola, a police reservist at Chembe, told The Sun.

Mr Chola, a police reservist at Chembe, told The Sun in a telephone interview that, Mwewa of Kashiki village, went into labour as she tried to use the toilet while waiting  for the nurses to attend to her but her new born ended up at the bottom of a pit latrine.

Mr Chola said with the help of other police officers, they dug up the toilet and fished  out the baby .

Mwewa also confirmed the story and expressed gratitude to Mr Chola for saving her baby’s life.

Mwewa narrated that she went to the clinic in the company of her brother around 06:00hours on Dec. 24, 2018 but found the facility still closed.

“My brother went and knocked at the nurses’ house three times but they just said they would come but never did until about 08.00hours,” said Mwewa who indicated she was forced to lie down on the floor at the entrance to the clinic as she waited for the nurses.

 “While waiting for the nurses, I went to the toilet twice to urinate but on the third occasion, I  felt like answering the call of nature and while in the toilet, I just felt something come out of me and then the cries of a baby coming from down in the toilet,” she said. 

According to Mwewa, she left the toilet and requested her brother to take her home as her baby had fallen into the pit latrine.

She explained that her brother went and told the nurses about what had happened and that one of the nurses immediately called her and told her that “if anyone asks you how the baby fell into the pit latrine, tell them that you were six months pregnant and had a miscarriage.”

And Mr Chola said that he rushed to the clinic after he learnt about the incident but that the nurse on duty refused to tell him what exactly happened and also attempted to stop him from talking to Ms Mwewa.

“The nurse on duty refused to tell me anything but I could hear the cries of a baby coming from the direction of the pit latrine,” he said.

Mr Chola said he decided to go to the pit latrine to confirm where exactly the baby’s cries were coming from. He later confronted the named nurse about the baby cries and what the baby was doing in the toilet but she informed him it was a case of abortion.

“I managed to find my way to the girl I learnt was the mother of child in the toilet and she explained to me what   exactly had happened,” he said.

According to Mr Chola, he immediately decided to demolish the pit latrine, with assistance from two police officers from Chembe Police Post, and managed to hoist the baby out of the toilet hole.

He said that the baby was later given to the nurses for cleaning and stabilizing before being handed back to the mother. Meanwhile, reliable sources in Chembe have informed The Sun that the three nurses involved have since been transferred in order to cover up the case which had not been reported to the ministry.

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