Rahima Moosa Hospital: “The hospital has violated the right of access to health” – says SAHRC

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The investigation at the Rahima Moosa Hospital followed after a necrotising enterocolitis outbreak at the hospital took the lives of nine infants from March to July 2018.

After the visit to Rahima Moosa Hospital , Buang Jones from the South African Human Rights Commission said in a press briefing:

“From what we’ve gleaned so far, the hospital has violated the right of access to health. [..] They’ve also violated Section 28 of the Constitution which says that’s the best interest of children are of paramount importance.”

The hospital, which assists in the delivery of the approximately 13,000 babies yearly, acknowledged the death of the infants in August, but the cause of the outbreak is still unknown. The outbreak was contained in August.

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Also read: 20 000 injured patients: Here are the most negligent hospitals in Gauteng

According to a tweet posted by Jacaranda News, the SAHRC’s investigation also revealed that the Rahima Moosa hospital is “short staffed and lacks equipment.”

rahima moosa hospital
Rahima Moosa Hospital, June 2013. Image Credit: Google Maps/LoganW

This follows after Tbo Touch said on Twitter back in September that the conditions at Rahima Moosa Hospital need to improve, and that they “need scanning equipment, CTG machines and beds for mothers who’ve just given birth.”

Even though it’s the biggest mother-and-child hospital in Africa, the community is not impressed. A Twitter user known only as Get Empowered informed the Gauteng Department of Health that random night shift visits should be conducted at the hospital. The user added:

“See your nursing staff sleeping and watching soaps while women go through labour on their own and they do not care for anything except their sleep and soapies.”

Also read: No beds for patients: Khayelitsha hospital overcrowded and understaffed

Another user, Jillian Andrews, concurred but added that “unplanned late night visits to ALL state hospitals” are needed. “You will see your life, and you will cry [at] the things you see,” she added.

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Michael Thompson tweeted a photo of the streets just outside Rahima Moosa. He tagged Joburg’s Pikitup service in the post, asking them to attend to the “dumpsite corner Hamilton and Oudshoorn streets.”

When news of the SAHRC’s investigation was shared online, one user simply said “it took them long enough,” while another added the Rahima Moosa Hospital is a total disgrace.

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Necrotising Enterocolitis occurs mostly in premature newborns and causes a portion of the bowel to die. The cause of the disease is unclear, but it has also been linked to birth asphyxia and congenital heart disease.

Complications which could develop include short-gut syndrome and developmental delay. In some cases, the effects can be reversed through surgery.

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