Clinic blamed for child’s death

2015-05-28 06:00

AN uMthwalume father whose 13-month-old son died recently says the child’s death is a result of negligence by the Department of Health.

Nhlanhla Cele says his son, Nkululeko, allegedly died as a result of Nyangweni Clinic’s refusal to test him for TB despite his repeated requests. Nkululeko was buried last Saturday after being treated at GJ Crookes Hospital for two weeks.

Cele said the child was first sent to the clinic on 30 April after he couldn’t keep food down.

“He would just vomit up everything he ate or he just refused to eat at all.”

They were told Nkululeko had cold sores in his mouth and was given medication for that. Cele said he insisted they test the child for TB as they were living with a relative who is an MDR-TB patient, but the clinic staff refused.

Spokesperson of Turton Community Health Centre, Siyanda Mbatha, which Nyangwini Clinic forms a part of, said as far as he knows the child was never tested for TB. The child had been seen by general practitioner on 28 April and was referred to the clinic for dehydration­ and Marasmic- kwashiorkor­.

He said that after being diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition and moderate dehydration, he was transferred to GJ Crookes.

He denied awareness of the MDR-TB patient who lives with the Celes. GJ Crookes spokesperson Thabiso Mbanjwa said a background check by GJ Crookes upon the child’s admission revealed that Nkululeko had TB contact at home.

This information was gathered from Nyangwini clinic and the child’s next of kin. He said that an X-ray check on the child was suggestive of TB and he was then treated for TB and malnutrition.

He said that the main cause of the child’s illness and ultimate death was malnutrition and TB.

“So far six people have been diagnosed with TB, of whom three have died in my family and many others in my area as well.

“I even may have it myself, but I don’t know and may not until it is too late because even after asking numerous times the Department­ of Health does not want to test and treat people on time.”

At the time of going to press the hospital could not be contacted for comment

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