SA hospital probed for placing newborns in boxes

The South African authorities are investigating an incident in which newborn babies were placed in cardboard boxes, instead of incubators or cribs in North West province.

The incident in Mahikeng Provincial Hospital’s neonatal section came to light on Saturday after a Facebook post showed babies wrapped in purple hospital blankets with nasogastric tubes, and placed in brown boxes, local media said.

North West health chief Madoda Sambatha said they were investigating the matter to establish how long the babies had stayed in the boxes.

Mr Sambatha apologised and called for calm while the matter is being investigated.

He said, as a matter of urgency, arrangements had been made for additional bed cribs to be sent to the hospital.

The nursing manager of the hospital has reportedly been suspended.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Monday described the incident as poor management by those in charge of the facility.

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