Elephantiasis sufferer turned away

2012-02-20 13:03
Port Elizabeth - A 37-year-old woman with elephantiasis has laid a complaint against Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth after she was turned away without treatment, the Eastern Cape health department said on Monday.

"She alleges that one doctor allegedly told her to go to the casualty area where she waited for hours, and realising that she was not getting any help, she then broke down and cried," said department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

He said the woman claimed she had open wounds and was in extreme pain as a result of the disease.

The woman - who visited the hospital on February 13 - said the doctors only looked through her file and then told her to go home to a clinic near her home just outside Port Elizabeth.

She then asked for an ambulance to take her home as she was finding it difficult to walk, but was told by ambulance personnel in casualty that she would have to pay R200 for a lift.

"She refused this and said she would rather get a private taxi to take her home."


Without any treatment, the woman further alleged, her open wounds attracted flesh-eating maggots and she decided to visit a traditional healer.

Kupelo said the department had been in contact with the hospital's CEO Thulani Madonsela, who was investigating the incident and in particular the doctors and nurses who had been involved. He would also be studying the woman's medical records.

Kupelo said that, according to the woman, she had been diagnosed with elephantiasis in 2006. However, she had not requested any treatment until she was admitted to Livingstone Hospital in January this year.

"She alleges on discharge she was not prescribed treatment. She says the pain is unbearable, she is bed-ridden, she cannot even use the wheelchair provided to her because she cannot [because of the disease] fit anymore.

Kupelo said the department was also going to take the matter further and try to help the woman with medical assistance.

Elephantiasis is a disease that affects the skin and tissue and is caused by parasitic worms.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  health

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

How much food do you need to concentrate?

We have been taught that we need three meals a day in order to make it through the day and while most of us indulge in more than our fair share there is a large portion of South Africans who are living off barely enough to sustain them.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.