As heavy storms wreaked havoc in the Limpopo region on Thursday, nine babies were born in a dark Jane Furse Hospital.
“There was no electricity and the generator had been struck by lightning, so some women in labour were being assisted by cellphone light,” provincial department spokesperson Neil Shikwambana said on Friday.
It was impossible for hospital staff to move the expectant mothers to other hospitals because fallen trees and other debris had blocked roads.
Despite the difficult conditions, all nine babies were delivered safely.
Shikwambana said MEC Phophi Ramathuba had visited the hospital on Friday and had congratulated the staff.
Images shared by her department show thick mud covering the hospital’s floors.
When the Ramathuba arrived at the hospital, some of the mothers and newborns had been moved to other hospitals while others had remained at Jane Furse, waiting to be discharged in the afternoon.
“The mothers that spoke to the media during the MEC’s visit said they were grateful to have been helped against the odds, but it was a scary situation,” Shikwambana said.
Many patients in other wards have been moved to other facilities.
“The flooding did not spare any part of the hospital,” said Shikwambana, adding that the dentist and surgical wards were among those that had been badly damaged.
The hospital had closed temporarily.