The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Gauteng, would like to condemn in the strongest terms the reckless manner in which an incident that took place at Chiawelo Clinic on the 10th December 2019 was reported on TV Channel Moja Love’s Skhipha Amafiles programme.
As DENOSA, we support freedom of the press and we also expect journalists and talk show hosts to be responsible in their reporting and not push a sensationalist and misleading narrative when reporting, as was the case when the story was reported.
The public was lead to believe that a pregnant member of the community was refused assistance by a nurse, and ended up having to deliver the baby on her own in a taxi. This could not be farther from the truth, as results of our own investigation revealed. DENOSA established that the woman had indeed given birth before arriving at the Clinic.
A misunderstanding occurred when the nurse in question could not immediately abandon the emergency situation she was attending to, but had to ensure that there is a replacement before she could attend to the woman in the taxi.
While DENOSA understands the husband’s frustration, resulting in the filming of the video, misconstruction of facts to imply that the nurse refused to assist his wife is not fair to the nurse in mention.
Had this story been factually reported by the programme, we would be engaging in an entirely different dialogue as to how the lives of both mother and baby were endangered by not coming to a health facility at the onset of the labour.
A DENOSA Representative, who was at the facility for a meeting subsequent to this incident, was ambushed into an interview, and his willingness to assist Skhiph’ amaFiles was reciprocated by airing of an edited version of the interview, misquoting his statement to indicate that he represents the community instead of ‘ nurses who are part of the community’ as stated by him. This goes against the principle of objectivity in reporting.
The public relies on the media for information, and DENOSA urges Skhiph’amaFiles to convey accurate and reliable information when airing their stories.
The programme (Skhiph’amaFiles) has a responsibility to inform the public, and not direct and manipulate information to sensationalise a story to push ratings.
The programme had an opportunity to highlight the plight of the community regarding the rendering of services at Chiawelo Clinic, and a healthy dialogue and factual reporting would have greatly assisted in getting to the root of the community’s concerns.
DENOSA urges the public to not fall prey to such antics, and strongly discourages recommendations that the CHC be closed;- as this would jeopardize the community that is very much in need of its services.