News24

Health official fired over ARVs

2009-07-14 18:02

Durban - A high ranking Pietermaritzburg district health official has been given the boot following a chronic shortage of antiretroviral drugs at Edendale Hospital.

"Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo today (Tuesday) announced that the Pietermaritzburg district manager May Zuma-Mkhonza has been removed from her post because she failed to manage the issue of ARV rollout at Edendale Hospital," said health spokesperson Des Motha.

Edendale Hospital has 11 000 patients who are on the antiretroviral drugs treatment programme and many have been turned away because the hospital cannot cope with the high number of people needing the medicines.

The hospital had the biggest antiretroviral drugs programme in the country, Motha said.

No help for NGOs

Motha said Dhlomo was particularly unhappy that Zuma-Mkhonza had failed to allow NGOs to help the department deal with the growing number of people who wanted to enrol in the HIV treatment programme.

"It has come to the MEC's attention that she was approached by NGOs but she failed to co-operate with them. She has told the MEC that she did not receive any report from the NGOs but the MEC is not convinced by her explanation," said Motha.

Dhlomo was also in the process of hiring the CEO and a medical manager for Edendale Hospital, Motha said.

"The MEC believes that Edendale Hospital needs the CEO and the medical manager so that the hospital can be managed properly."

The Treatment Action Campaign was reportedly organising a protest to show the organisation's dissatisfaction at the situation at Edendale Hospital.