Friday, 11 December 2020

MYSTERY BABY DEATH : FAMILY DEMANDS DNA TEST

Mystery surrounds the death of a newly born baby at Chitungwiza Central Hospital. The affected family is demanding DNA tests of the body before burial or acclimation amid fears that there was a baby swap.

Thelma Chidakwa, 20, received some photographs of a living baby on her WhatsApp contact number from an anonymous person but later got news that hers had died.

This triggered the speculation that her baby was exchanged with a dead one by the midwives. Chitungwiza Central Hospital Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Michael Chiwanga said the body would undergo a DNA tests only when the family seeks permission from the courts of law.

“We admitted a maternity patient on the 11th of November 2020 and gave birth to a baby boy,” said Dr Chiwanga.

“The 20-year-old woman refused to accept giving birth to a still baby and the medical records I received clearly show that.

“One of the family members threatened to sleep at the mortuary demanding DNA tests to be carried on the body with a belief that her baby was exchanged soon after giving birth.

“Records of labour stages were taken and two midwives led by sister Muronzi attended her and the results show that the baby was born dead.

“The body does not belong to the family when dead and that is why we asked them to take a legal process before the body is taken for maternity DNA testing of the mother, father and body.

“They engaged Global DNA Zimbabwe and it’s a private company hence the need to seek permission from the courts of law.

“We are very sure that the body belongs to the patient in question and if the DNA test results came negative we will contest them.

“I do agree that incidences where babies are exchanged happen but we never had such a case here.

“This is the first report we received where a couple demands DNA tests to be carried on a body of a newly born baby with a view to know if it belongs to the mother and father.

“Our human resources manager has been asked by police to produce a request for the matter to be taken before the courts of law and is still to report back,” said Dr Chiwanga.

Thelma’s mother Dadirayi Mutamera said the way the midwives conveyed the message of birth and death raised more questions leading them to suspect that ‘their’ baby is alive.

“I took my daughter to the hospital around midday and we received a message at 1930hrs from one of the sisters congratulating us for a normal delivery and birth of the child,” said Mutamera.

“Within some minutes Thelma phoned telling us that the baby had passed on and asked us to rush there.

“The sisters who were on duty discouraged us from travelling during the night since the child had passed on.

“She asked us if we were interested in viewing the body and quickly asked for permission to attend to a patient who was in the labour ward in a way to discourage us from viewing the body.

“From 11th of November until today we have been raising questions and apart from that, an anonymous person sent some photographs of the baby to Thelma’s WhatsApp contact number.

“We showed them the photographs and how we received them but they held a meeting privately and we do not know what they discussed.

“A male police officer assigned to the mortuary called us and threatened us ordering us to collect the body for burial and we refused his orders.

“We agreed with the authorities to engage our private company to take the body for DNA tests and the hospital would engage their own to carry the same tests.

“They made a u-turn and are now asking us to approach the courts of law for an order for DNA tests but police are arguing that no docket was opened by any of us but it is our right to take it for tests,” said Mutamera. H Metro

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