CORRECTION: Story That Stated A Nurse Claims She Has Switched More Than 5,000 Babies At Birth Is Untrue
Thanks to Lead Stories, we learned that a story we published earlier this year is not true.
We were initially made aware of this story by a reader who submitted related information to us. After a quick review of sources, including coverage by a large, reputable United States media company, the story was validated by one of our editors and assigned to a reporter for further investigation.
Unfortunately, the research and reporting conducted were not adequate, and the story ultimately was proven to be untrue. We very much regret not uncovering the false information at the time, and we sincerely apologize to our readers for this oversight.
We have taken several steps to ensure this does not happen again, including personnel changes and changes in our reporting structure.
Regarding the story itself, it began by asking if you have ever thought that you were switched at birth, and went on to say that it might be an irrational fear generated during moments when you feel like you don’t have any similarities to your family.
Several news outlets and reporters claimed that one maternity ward nurse who used to work at The University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Zambia allegedly swapped more than 5,000 babies throughout her career.
The outlets and reporters claimed that the nurse, Elizabeth Mwewa, confessed to the act after getting a fatal cancer diagnosis, even quoting her as saying that “If you were born in UTH between the years 1983 to 1995 chances are your parents may not be your biological parents … So take a good look at your siblings, if for example everyone is light and you are darkie… you are that child and I am really sorry for that.”
Well, it is believed that no such person exists and, even if so, did not do what is alleged. There is no confirmation that this happened.
According to fact checking website Lead Stories:
Lead Stories reached out to the Zambian governmental agency that licenses and supervises nurses for help in fact-checking this story. Our emails and calls were not immediately answered, but a local Zambian news site was successful. The Lusaka Times reported that an investigation found “there is no midwife in the General Nursing Council of Zambia Register by the name of Elizabeth Bwalya Mwewa.”
You can find more about this here: Fake News: Zambian Nurse Did NOT Swap Close To 5,000 Babies In 12 Years At Maternity Ward
So despite the many articles you can find on the web stating that this story is true, we have learned that it is not. We apologize again for misleading our readers.