Two infants are stuck at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo after they were dumped by their mother who had brought one of them for treatment.
A boy aged three and his sister who is nine months old were brought to the hospital on February 4 by their mother who later disappeared, leaving them at the health institution’s paediatric unit.
The mother’s identity remains unknown as she erased her name from the health records but hospital officials said she was referred to Mpilo from Inyathi District Hospital in Bubi.
The Chronicle visited the hospital at around 11AM yesterday and saw the two visibly dejected minors lying in one of the wards.
Mpilo public relations officer Sibusisiwe Faith Ndlovu said the hospital had tried in vain to locate the woman.
“It seems she had it planned. She brought her children on January 20, from Inyathi. Officials at Inyathi District Hospital said she requested to be referred to Mpilo. Her younger one wasn’t feeling well but the boy was okay.
“She pleaded with hospital officials to let her stay with both of them while the other one was receiving medical treatment. She told hospital officials that she had no one at home to take care of him,” said Ndlovu.
She said the woman was at the hospital between January, 20, and February, 4, and disappeared before her child was discharged.
“She erased her name and physical address from the child’s health cards so that she couldn’t be traced. What we know is that she is from Inyathi. We’ve engaged the social welfare offices in both Bulawayo and Inyathi but nothing concrete has come out,” Ndlovu said.
She said the children were now at risk of contracting diseases from other sick children.
“They risk contracting infections as they’re no longer on treatment. They’re now a danger to themselves and other patients. A hospital isn’t an ideal institution for children, they need a home where they can be free. The boy is actually experimenting with several things which may prove detrimental to his health,” said Ndlovu.
She appealed to members of the public who might have any information on the woman to alert hospital officials or the police.
Some women with children admitted to the hospital had no kind words for the woman.
Sisa Dube from Mpopoma suburb said while someone was abandoning her children, another woman’s child died at the hospital yesterday.
“We’re here trying to ensure that our children are treated and get the best of health. She doesn’t value the gift of life from God. Today a mother lost her child and we all saw the pain of losing a child in her eyes. Nurturing a kid is the best gift any mother can give to her child,” said Dube.
Tradegermore Zarenyika shared Dube’s sentiments, saying the woman should be prosecuted once caught. The Chronicle