A woman gave birth on the streets of Egypt, not because she couldn’t make it to a hospital on time but because she was allegedly denied treatment. The Nile Delta city of Kafr al-Dawar facility asked her to leave, and she ended up delivering her baby on the hospital’s doorsteps.
The video, posted to Youtube, caused outrage in the African country, which has faced overcrowding and understaffed medical facilities in recent years. The incident also resulted in the suspension of the hospital’s director on Monday and outcry on social channels.
In the video, a woman — wearing the traditional veil — is seen going into labor on the street, at Kafr al-Dawar Public Hospital’s doorsteps. She is also covered by a sheet and a few moments later two women come out of the hospital, get under the sheet, and emerge with a newborn baby wrapped in a pink blanket.
According to the woman’s husband, they were turned away after being told that the sole doctor on call was busy with another pregnant patient, who needed a Cesarean section. However, the hospital denies the claims and accuses the woman and her family of attempting to discredit the facility, according to Yahoo News.
Authorities from the provincial health ministry told the State news agency MENA they will investigate the accusations and have suspended the hospital’s director. But this has not stopped people from being outraged and taking to social media to attack the facility, calling its behavior negligent.
Angry Egyptians also accuse the state of not taking care of its 85 million citizens and not being committed to their health needs.
“When hospitals let women give birth in the street, it raises questions of government negligence, no matter how much the government flaunts its commitment to women’s rights,” said an Egyptian on Facebook.
The woman’s husband told reporters that staff at the hospital suggested they travel to Alexandria, located about 20 miles away, to get help. The man said that when the couple asked for the hospital to facilitate an ambulance, they were escorted outside the hospital, where the woman gave birth on the street while waiting for a taxi.
The video of the woman giving birth on the hospital footsteps appears to be taken using a cellphone recorder and shows her lying on a street just a few feet away from the hospital. Several women are seen encouraging her, as well as her husband and other bystanders.
After giving birth on the street, the woman is loaded on a stretcher and taken inside the hospital, as the crowd watches. The hospital insists they do not turn away patients and accuses the couple of purposely allowing the woman to give birth on the street, in order to record it on video.
[Image via Shutterstock]