Tsholotsho girl (9) becomes mother
Robin Muchetu Senior Reporter
THE nine-year-old Tsholotsho girl who was being managed at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) in Bulawayo, after it was discovered she was pregnant, has given birth.
She gave birth to a baby girl in the early hours of Monday via a Caesarean section.
The specialist who was seeing the child at UBH Dr Ellen Takaringwa confirmed the birth.
“The baby was born in the early hours of the morning. Both the baby and mother are fine. We are monitoring the mother as she is in the first crucial hours. The baby was 3090g and it’s a girl,” she said.
Dr Gladys Muringani, another consultant was involved in assisting the girl deliver.
Acting clinical director of the hospital Dr Harrison Rambanapasi also said the two were fine and were being monitored at the hospital.
“I wish to inform the nation that our nine-year-old has given birth at UBH. Our specialists performed the C-section in the early hours of today, Monday the 14th. The outcome is a healthy baby girl with a weight just above 3kg. Both the mother and the baby are in a stable condition,” said Dr Rambanapasi.
He thanked all stakeholders who have been part of the process of ensuring the child has a smooth delivery.
“Once again I would like to thank the team looking after this patient for their hard work and professional conduct throughout. The pressure was very high as everyone wanted to see the patient but the specialists focused on the needs of the patient and made sure that her right to privacy was protected and upheld.
“Even when her Excellency, the First Lady came to see our patient she also emphasised the need to protect this unfortunate girl from negative repercussions of publicity,” he said.
The acting clinical director said the law must take its course in ensuring that the culprit responsible for impregnating the minor is brought to book.
“We continue to manage the patient with due dignity and look forward to other Government departments like law enforcement, judiciary and social welfare to continue playing their part to ensure that this matter is concluded in the best interest of the patient,” he said.
First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa also expressed her joy at the safe delivery of the new-born soon after her visit.
“I am pleased over the safe birth of the bouncing baby girl today (yesterday). I am grateful that both mother and baby are doing fine and I am particularly relieved that there were no complications during the birth. I am also very thankful that I managed to see the nine-year-old girl on Saturday and she delivered soon after.
“I hope both mother and baby will grow up well, because they are both children. I am looking forward to some kind of normalcy returning to the child’s life as she recovers and resumes life as an ordinary nine-year-old despite being a mother at that tender age. I wish the mother a speedy recovery. We are grateful to God for the safe delivery,” she said.
Last week, the First Lady took time to come down to Bulawayo to see the child and her mother who are being kept at safe houses.
The nine-year-old was being attended to by a team of specialists from Bulawayo. The father of the minor was arrested on August 29, 2022, when it was discovered that she was pregnant and is assisting police with investigations. It is believed the nine-year-old fell pregnant after suffering sexual abuse.
She was initially managed at Mpilo Central Hospital and she was transferred to UBH at 32 weeks.
According to the mother of the nine-year-old, she started menstruating at about seven years and she took her to their local clinic in Tsholotsho where she was told it was common owing to the type of food being consumed today.
The family then took her to a faith healer who prayed for the child and when their menstruation stopped, the family assumed the prayers were effective. However, that is when the child’s stomach started bulging and the mother only sought medical help later and it was discovered the child was over seven months pregnant.
Psychologists say the child, who has experienced childhood trauma is more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder where she has flashbacks of what happened to her in the past, flashbacks of that traumatic incident or nightmares related to that and even reminders of that incident becoming triggers.
Such children are prone to depression, anxiety and also become suicidal but at the same time, intervening at this point is helpful in trying to prevent mental health problems in the future.