VICTORIA Falls District Hospital has given a family accusing its staff of swapping its newly-born baby with a dead infant to cover up for their negligence the greenlight to have an independent DNA test carried out, as they seek to get to the bottom of the saga.
BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
The infant’s parents Juliet Dube and Faison Nyathi has been insisting that a nurse aide at the hospital swapped their baby with another that had died on August 29 this year at the government-run institution.
The incident sparked outrage in the resort town, with residents taking to the streets demanding answers after Dube and her husband received a tip off that their two-day-old baby had allegedly been swapped by the nurse aide after he had dropped another patient’s baby during delivery.
Victoria Falls district medical officer Wisdom Kurauone told Southern Eye that they had acceded to the couple’s request for an independent DNA test.
He confirmed having cut the deceased baby’s finger nail so the parents could have the DNA tests carried out.
“We granted them what they wanted so that there is transparency on both sides. This issue happened when I was on leave in August and this is October (and) it still hasn’t been solved. I allowed them to take the sample to any laboratory of their choice and we, as an institution, will also take our samples to another lab,” he said.
Nyathi said they had been going back and forth with no fruitful outcome as the hospital administration seemed reluctant, and things only started moving following Kurauone’s intervention.
“Since August, we have been appealing for DNA tests and they have been giving us excuses until on Friday last week when Kurauone had to intervene. We sent our nails via Fedex to a private laboratory in Harare and we expect the results during this week. As a family, we are convinced that our child is still alive, not what we saw at the mortuary last month,” Nyathi said.
A post-mortem conducted soon after the baby’s death showed that it had died of head injuries.
Nurses at the hospital told a probe team last month that the child had a deformed head at birth because it had been injured during birth, as the baby could not come out through natural means and a caesarean section had to be carried.
The family, however, insisted that all this was fabricated, as no record proved that the child was a special case.
The family claimed after the child’s death at around 7am, the institution had forced them to sign a death record before buying five litres of paraffin and firewood to incinerate the child’s remains at the hospital.