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Covid-19 threatens maternal health

By Libuseng Nyaka

HARRISMITH – Covid-19 continues to put strain on health system although Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli hospital managed to deliver two babies normally and one on c-section on new year‘s day.

This was divulged by acting head nurse Hadibonne Mosase during a visit by Maluti-A-phofung executive mayor Gilbert Mokotso, who has  handed  out gifts to the newly born babies.

The burden of Covid-19 is piling more pressure on the already struggling maternity wards. Nurses were caught in between operating from  labour ward and other wards where pregnant women who have tested positive to the virus had been isolated in.

“Prior to admission pregnant women have to be tested for Covid-19. Those that test positive are isolated to another ward where they also give birth. This ward is not ideal as it is not equipped for delivering babies like labour ward. But we have done everything in our power to ensure that babies born in this ward are healthy.

“Luckily, despite these challenges, we still managed to save lives and deliver three healthy babies on January 1,2022.  With the first baby born at 07:47. We are happy to have received new lives who could one day become presidents or mayors,” said Mosase.

Mokotso said the decision to visit hospitals was a result of consultation with the municipal manager.

“These presents are to welcome the babies who come with different talents. We are here to wish them long healthy life so that they become better citizens.”

The other two hospitals Elizabeth Ross  and Thebe where six babies were delivered also received presents.

One of the beneficiaries Nomandozi Nkosi who delivered a baby girl at Thebe hospital in Harrismith said, gifts which includes clothes for her daughter,  are a welcome relief as she had purchased boy’s clothes but gave birth to a girl.

Executive Mayor of Maluti-a-Phofung Gilbert Mokotso handing over gifts to a baby born at Thebe hospital during new year.

“I am very happy and grateful for the presents I have received for my first born child. May god bless the mayor.”

Another mother Lebohang Mokoena  who delivered a baby at Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli described Mokotso as a God-sent  and was counting on clothes that belonged to another child. Thanks to the mayor my child will now go home wearing new clothes. May God bless him.”

“This is a relief and I am very thankful. It is like the mayor knew that I came here with nothing. I did not even have disposable diapers or even pampers  and for the clothes I had prepared old clothes left by another child. Thanks to the mayor my child will now go home wearing new clothes, May God bless him.”

Forty -five babies -23 boys and 22 girls-were delivered on January 1.

According to the health spokesperson Modli Mvambi , the first baby was delivered at 00:05 at Winburg.

“We unfortunately have three teenage mothers-one aged  16 years and two aged 17- from Boitumelo and Elizabeth Ross respectively.“

Meanwhile Free State  Health MEC Montseng Tsiu has welcomed all the babies and wished mother well .