UBH suspends trainee nurse after pregnancy test mishap

United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) suspended a trainee nurse from a training programme after a pregnancy test conducted on her showed a false-positive result.

The nurse identified as Sibonginkosi Jacoline Dube was subsequently dropped from the training programme.

Dube through her lawyer Jabulani Mhlanga of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) wants the hospital to reinstate her citing the decision as grossly unfair.

“Dube had advised that on the day the pregnancy test was taken, a certain Ms. S Moyo had informed the group of nursing trainees of a “mix-up” in the test results conducted at a UBH laboratory,” Mhlanga wrote to UBH chief executive officer Dr Narcisius Dzvanga.

Mhlanga said after receiving the pregnancy results Dube conducted a self-test which came out negative and she informed officials at UBH of this development.

“She also undertook further testing at Mpilo Central Hospital and the results were negative. But despite the outcome of the second set of the pregnancy test results and numerous engagements with some UBH officials as well as some officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dube has not been reinstated to continue with the nurse training programme,” said Mhlanga.

ZHLR said the decision taken by UBH to keep Dube out of the training programme was grossly unreasonable and unfair and in violation of section 68 of the Constitution, which provides for the right to administrative justice and also in violation of section 3 of the Administrative Justice Act. 

Mhalnga said UBH’s policy is contrary to the national objectives of the Constitution in particular section 17 which provides that the State must promote the full participation of women in all spheres of the Zimbabwean society on the basis of equality with men.

“Furthermore, section 56 of the Constitution affords women to enjoy the right to equal treatment including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres and prohibits unfair treatment or discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.”

UBH has also been urged to urgently align its policy to the provisions of the Constitution. 

Mhlanga added that if UBH fails to respond favourably to Dube’s request, they will institute legal proceedings against the state-run hospital to assert and protect her rights.

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