It has been a year and half since the mysterious death of Baby Oagile, an infant from Mabopane, who died on 16 February 2020 just hours after he was born. His family is still desperately looking for answers sorrounding his mysterious death.
The family is convinced that Oagile’s death was a result of negligence at Boekenhout Clinic. His parents say it has been an ongoing battle to access their son’s medical records.
According to Baby Oagile’s mother, Tshiamo Mabiletsa, the nurses told her that she had given birth to a healthy baby boy whose only concern was his weight as he was deemed to be a little bit underweight and also to be diagnosed with Club foot.
She said that nurses assured her that despite all these, her baby was completely healthy and all she needed was to wait for transport to be able to take the baby to hospital, this as a precautionary measure since she gave birth in a clinic.
However, few hours later, there had seemed to have been complications as the family was informed by staff at the hospital two hours later, that they could not resuscitate the baby, which left the family confused as to what may have happened as the baby was declared healthy.
The sad news prompted the family into believing that there was some medical equipment that was not at the clinic and possibly some negligence on the part of staff that handled their newborn baby which resulted in his death.
Recalling the ordeal of the 16th February 2020, Oagile’s mother, Tshiamo Mabiletsa said, “The baby’s eyes were open and the baby was breathing, then the nurse took the baby and she was trying to put him in this other machine that was for warmth, so that machine kept switching on and off, so it’s like it was not working properly. Then she was like the baby is fine, however my concern was the baby’s weight, because the baby weighted 1.8kg and apart from that she said the baby had Club foot.
As a precautionary measure, Mabiletsa was meant to be transferred to hospital, however the ambulances that kept arriving did not have incubators. But the nurse insisted that everything was under control as it was not an emergency and that they could wait for another ambulance which had an incubator for the baby.
“With that being said, outside was my mother with a car and also my partner who was also with a car, so if ever there was an emergency, there were ways to get to the hospital,” she added.
Mabiletsa’s world came tumbling down just three hours later, when she was told that her son had unfortunately passed away and that the staff could not resuscitate him.
In their quest to find answers, Baby Oagile’s parents have been trying to get copies of his medical records, however their efforts were fruitless as the hospital failed to provide them with the medical records.
“I already had a name, everything was set. I have bought clothes, everything was just prepared. So I had to go to Labor Department in order to submit the death certificate and when I got there, there were mothers holding their babies and I had just buried mine. So it’s not easy, “ said Mabiletsa, who was weeping uncontrollably.
Oagile’s parents believe that the clinic is trying to cover up their negligence as according to the death notice, Oagile’s death notice was a stillborn.
Tshepo Letswalo, who is Oagile’s father, believes that the baby was hurt by the staff at the clinic after he was born.
“The way my son died, I feel my son was hurt, but why did they write that he was a stillborn? I may not speak English well, but I know stillborn is a child who did not live.
“If it was the case, we could have accepted it, but the clinic has not been forthcoming with information about what really happened to our child,” said the grieving Letswalo.
Responding to the incident, the Department of Health said in a statement that the matter was reported to the Serious Adverse Incidents Committee but remained tight-lipped on the outcomes of the investigations.