Tanzania: Woman give birth on lawn, as police deny her access to hospital

Human rights groups in Tanzania on Saturday criticized the behavior of police officers who were deaf to the call of a woman who was about to give birth.

According to Tribune, 26-year-old Amina Raphael Mbunda was arrested at her home in the Kilombero district, in the east of the country, on the night of June 2, by police who were looking for her husband suspected of having bought a stolen bed.

While she was about to give birth, Mbunda asked to be transported to the hospital but her request was denied. She finally gave birth to her baby on the lawn of the police station.

The incident that provoked a wave of indignation in the country was confirmed by the commander of the regional police.

“This is a shame for the Tanzanian police,” said Helen Kijo-Bisimba, director of the Tanzania Center for Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

“How can a person be arrested for a criminal offense committed by someone else? And how come they did not realize she was about to give birth? What would have happened if she had died in this police station?” Asks Helen Kijo-Bisimba.

The Coalition Against Violence for Women and Children issued a statement condemning the way in which the woman’s life has been endangered.

“The police endangered the life of the mother and the child and humiliated them”.

“We are asking the police chief to take sanctions against his agents, who have shown a lack of professionalism in their work,” the NGO said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Minister of Health and Gender, Ummy Mwalimu said that an investigation has been opened.

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