Police in Uganda are investigating circumstances under which a midwife reportedly mishandled a woman in labour and the baby’s head was pulled off.
The midwife pulled too hard during a foot-first birth and ended up holding the decapitated torso of the baby during the botched birth.
When the 21-year-old woman went into labour, the family says, it took some time before she was given attention.
For four days she had been at Bulumbi Health Centre III waiting for the right moment to deliver her baby.
At one point, her family asked that she be referred to the Red Cross facility if the hospital could not help her deliver.
The father of the baby said: “We went to the hosptial on Thursday, if they had seen trouble, they should have sent us to Red Cross, but they used force.”
When the midwife attended to the woman at about midday, the baby’s legs came out first but was stuck from the shoulder upwards.
Ms Musazi said: “She pulled then she went and sat. Later she came back and told me to push, but the baby refused to come out. She inserted her hands, pulled the baby then started to twist the baby. I cried as she told us to leave if we wanted. How could we go with the baby half out?
“Then she asked someone to bring in the older nurse. The older nurse pulled while she twisted the baby and eventually the baby came out but there was a hole.”
The father of the baby said: “When it come out half way, the nurse kept pulling and pushing it back and in the process the baby died. The child died a terrible death. The government needs to train these people.”
Ms Musazi says her baby was alive, evident by the movement of its legs.
This incident has since sparked uproar, with people asking government to train midwives on handling deliveries.
Mr Ibrahim Okello, the village chairperson, said: “We want them to change the midwives and the in-charge of the hospital. You can go to hospital and find there is no medicine.”
The baby’s body was taken to Busia Health Centre for post mortem before taking it home for burial.
Police have said they are investigating the case of suspected negligence against the midwife.
Locals say in three months, two women and two babies have died in childbirth at the same facility.
Police deployed a week ago to protect the health centre staff after residents attempted to attack them over the same. Attempts to speak to the medical officer-in-charge at Bulumbi Health Centre III and the district health staff were futile as they did not answer calls to their phones.
Those who answered the calls said they were not authorised to speak to the media.