Cops are investigating as a distraught mother says a midwife ripped her baby’s head off inside her by pulling on the tot’s legs and twisting its body during a breech birth.
Local media report the incident took place after 21-year-old Lilian Musazi went into labour at the Bulumbi Health Centre III in Uganda’s Busia District after four days of waiting in the facility.
Musazi had a breech birth – when a baby is born bottom first – and the midwife, who had reportedly been on duty on her own for a week, attended to her.
Doctors normally perform a caesarean section during a breech birth as it is seen as safer than a vaginal birth, however this did not happen in Musazi’s case.
The mother told reporters the baby became stuck from the shoulder upwards before the midwife pulled on the tot’s legs before going to sit down.
She says the unnamed midwife then came back and told her to push, but the baby did not come out.
She added: “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.”
Local media report the baby’s head was ripped off during the birth and the mother says her baby had been alive as she had seen its legs kicking.
The baby’s father, who has not been named in reports, said: “When it came out halfway, 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.”
The father said he had told the health centre they could go to the local Red Cross hospital if the baby could not be delivered, but the couple were left stuck at the health centre after the mother went into labour.
Local police say they have a launched an investigation into suspected negligence against the midwife. The baby’s body was taken to Busia Health Centre for a post-mortem examination, the results of which have not been released.
The chairperson of the village, Ibrahim Okello, called for the health centre to change their midwives and management.
The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been reported. It is unclear if the baby was a boy or a girl.
There have been other cases documented of babies being decapitated during their birth.
NHS doctor Vaishnavy Laxman was accused of misconduct after Dundee mother Laura Gallazzi’s baby son was decapitated during a breech birth in 2014.
Laxman was eventually cleared of misconduct by a General Medical Council hearing in May 2018 and no longer works in the UK, according to reports.
Kagiso Kgatla, 19, only gave birth to her baby’s head after a botched labour in Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg, South Africa in March 2019.
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