Baby born on road because mom had no cash for swab test
A pregnant woman gave birth on the road in Quezon City after she was turned away by one hospital and two lying-in clinics as she had no cash to pay for a swab test.
“Kailangan daw ng swab test… pag mabilisan P4,800 yata. Wala po kaming pera kasi kargador lang po ‘yung asawa ko,” the woman said on Mariz Umali’s report on “24 Oras.”
(I needed a swab test… the speedy one costs P4,800. We didn’t have that money because my husband is only a porter.)
She was already weak when operatives of the Task Force Disiplina arrived to help her past 1 a.m. on Tuesday.
“Pauwi na po kami, pagarahe po ‘yung mobile namin ng pinara po kami nung isang lalaki, nanghihingi ng tulong,” Maria Ronessa Serna, a task force member, said.
(We were on our way home when we were stopped by someone asking for help.)
“Manganganak na po, palabas na po talaga ‘yung bata. Pagtayo, putok na si panubigan at hindi na po niya kinaya eh. Pag akyat po ng mobile, higa na po,” she added.
(She was about to give birth. When she stood, her water was already broken and she was having difficulty moving. She immediately lied down on the vehicle.)
The woman then gave birth at the mobile van of the TF Dispilina.
“Kung emergency lang po sana, sana matanggal na lang po ‘yung swab test. Ang hirap po talaga lalo na sa kagaya namin na kapos-palad talaga,” she said.
(If there’s an emergency, I hope they can do away with the swab test because it’s really difficult for people like us.)
The baby was named Rainer and was nicknamed Tasky, inspired by the TF Displina that helped them.
Though happy that she was able to help, Serna worried over other pregnant mothers who may give birth on the road as this was her second time to encounter such a situation.
“Delikado po para sa kalusugan po ng parehas mag-ina kasi po, una sa lahat, wala pong sapat na kagamitan kung sa kalsada o sa sasakyan lang po aabutan ng panganganak,” she said.
(It’s dangerous for both the mother and child because there are no adequate equipment for giving birth on the road or vehicles.)
“Pangalawa, puwede pong magkaroon ng infection po, eh, doon sa umbilical cord ng bata,” she added.
(Second, the umbilical cord of the child could get infected.)
Last week, a pregnant woman gave birth outside the hospital in Sta. Maria, Bulacan when she was refused by the personnel for lack of swab test.
However, the Rogaciano M. Mercado Memorial Hospital denied this, saying that the woman was on her way to undergo test when she experienced precipitous labor.
The hospital said the woman's condition was immediately reported to the staff on duty and she was brought to the OB Department.
The Department of Health (DOH) expressed worry over the situation since the mothers may have pre-existing conditions.
Despite this, the DOH explained that RT-PRC tests are for the protection of pregnant women, other patients, as well as hospital personnel.
Those without money for swab tests may go to public hospitals.
“Hindi po naninigil ng bayad para sa swab test ang mga government hospital at bukas po sila ‘pag kailangan manganak,” DOH Director III Dr. Paz Corrales said.
(Government hospitals do not ask for payment for swab tests and they are open to those who need to give birth.)
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III previously told hospitals not to turn away pregnant women. The DOH said it will investigate such cases. —Joahna Lei Casilao/LDF, GMA News