A newborn baby from Kimberley died because the ambulance apparently took six hours to get to her parents’ home, which is only 15 minutes from the hospital.
Desiree Abrahams, 32, of Beaconsfield began contracting Saturday morning at 8am and immediately called the ambulance service of Kimberley Hospital.
Jamie Gatyene, Abraham’s girlfriend and neighbor, was with her in the bedroom with other family members to assist her.
Six people each called the ambulance.
She called the ambulance several times, and the response was that an ambulance was on its way.
When she called at 11 am, Abrahams was told to lie on her side to prevent the contractions from worsening.
“In the meantime, her water broke and we kept calling the ambulance.”
According to Gatyene, the child “came out”, but she is uncertain if the baby was stillborn and whether she was still alive after childbirth.
Abrahams apparently felt the baby move inside her until shortly before birth.
She is also a mother of two older children.
The ambulance finally arrived at 13:30. The ambulance staff said the baby died due to mucus on the chest.
“I’m sure if the paramedics were on time, the baby would still be alive,” Gatyene says.
Lulu Mxekezo, spokesperson for the Northern Cape health department, says they are investigating the incident.
“The department is constantly losing staff due to transfers, retirement and resignations and this contributes to staff shortages.”
In addition, additional appointments due to budget constraints cannot be made, she says.
In addition, 25 vehicles will soon be auctioned off and removed from the system.