Nursing sisters send baby to sangoma

African medicine
African medicine

Two nursing sisters at a rural health clinic in KwaZulu-Natal allegedly referred a sick 5-month-old baby to a sangoma, a health official said on Friday.

The two nurses at the clinic near Dundee were being investigated, said Dundee provincial hospital spokespersonn Mbali Ntshingila.

She confirmed that a complaint had been received from a local white commercial farmer, but declined to elaborate.

“We are still investigating and cannot disclose anything. The investigation is at an early stage.”

The two sisters were still working, and it was not standard procedure to refer patients to sangomas, she said.

It was not known whether both nursing sisters had been involved in the referral.

The farmer, Paul Theunissen, said one of his employees last week told him of the baby being referred to a sangoma.

He said he had been told that the woman was informed by one of the nursing sisters that she had to take the baby to a sangoma because “the ancestors were cross with her”.

“We went out to collect the baby – who was covered in some kind of muti and was sicker than before – but the sangoma was reluctant to let her go,” he said.

“Eventually we managed to take the baby to a private doctor, who diagnosed bronchitis,” said Theunissen.

Theunissen said he lodged a complaint with the hospital. – Sapa