Elephantiasis sufferer 'was treated'

2012-02-22 13:10

Port Elizabeth - A complaint that a woman with elephantiasis was refused treatment at a Port Elizabeth hospital was baseless, the Eastern Cape health department said on Wednesday.

"The thick medical file clearly indicates in the history that she's been taken care of throughout," said spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.

Pamela Maxhanti, 37, claimed she was turned away from the Livingstone specialist hospital last week without treatment for elephantiasis-related open wounds and severe pain and swelling.

Kupelo said Maxhanti was admitted to Livingstone on January 8 and was started on treatment the following day.

On her discharge on January 24, she was given a follow-up appointment to see a doctor at the Port Elizabeth provincial hospital on February 13.

However, Kupelo said she missed the appointment and because she could not be seen, she was re-directed back to the Livingstone hospital.

"In Livingstone, she was given treatment - contrary to claims that she was never given treatment."

He said the woman was given numerous chronic medicines for pain, inflammation and open wounds and was told that she could go to her nearest clinic for treatment.

"These items are confirmed in her folder that they were signed for by a pharmacist. Everything has been done for this patient and the medical opinion is that her condition cannot be cured, but can only be managed."

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

  • Thelma - 2012-02-22 13:38

    Fudge fudge fudge!!!!!

  • Barefoot - 2012-02-22 13:47

    there is a song somewher that speaks about "both side of the story" i humbly ask news24 to make sure before publishing

  • Sindiwe - 2012-02-22 13:57

    "He said the woman was given numerous chronic medicines for pain, inflammation and open wounds and was told that she could go to her nearest clinic for treatment." - So she's been "treated" with painkillers and anti-infammatory medicines ..... what about cleaning the wounds and getting rid of the "paracitic worms"? How on earth should this poor woman walk to the clinic and/or get into a taxi, sit on a chair (if any is available at the clinic) with her "open wounds"? Like Thelma said: fudge fudge fudge!!

      Philisiwe Msomi - 2012-02-22 15:45

      you must read the whole article before you comment, she was admitted for sometime then was discharged and she was given a follow up/check up date which she missed(whose fault is that),now you and i have no idea what kind of treatment she had during hospitalisation because we didn't see her file. But she has been getting medication(anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers) to manage her condition,which doesn't mean she was admitted to get painkillers.daaah!!and wound dressings can be done by nurses @the clinics, so why should she go to the hospital for something that can be done @her local clinic!!

      Brigitte - 2012-02-22 19:21

      Just to let you know that elaphantitis is a nearly impossible disease to get rid of - researched it. But yes there are 2 sides to the story....and somewhere inbetween is the truth.

  • Siphiwo - 2012-02-22 14:13

    Sindiswa and Thelma, are absolutely right here. This patient was given a raw deal, pitty by the same hospital she trusted and nearby. Allan Paton, once observed: CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY.....To me, this is a amount of evidence that she was treated can supercceede the fact that, the hopital showed inhumanity to her.

      Randomhero6661 - 2012-02-22 16:39


  • Mtizozo - 2012-02-22 14:30

    It tells there is more to it,,

  • djsnowey - 2012-02-22 14:45


  • Adam - 2012-02-26 22:47

    hey! u people who comment without facts! 1) Elephantiasis (filariasis) is not curable. The treatment is supportive! 2) The patient HAD received treatment! She should have gone to her nearest clinic for the supportive treatment! Do you know that clinics have doctors and nurses? NOT EVERYTHING should be treated at HOSPITAL! PLEASE get that into your heads! Where she presented was at ACCIDENT AND EMERGENCY (A & E)! Elephantiasis is NEITHER one of those! 3) If I had to treat an elephantiasis case, it would be considered lower down on the priority list. The REALITY of A & E is that emergencies get seen to FIRST (irrespective of who ARRIVES their first). Priority list: 1) EMERGENCY 2) Non-emergencies. Unfortunately for non-emergencies, in a state hospital like Livingstone, there are always MANY emergencies! If it means that non-emergencies have to wait!, then so be it! It's not a matter of being NASTY, it's a matter of ensuring that no-body dies! Imagine if she had been given priority over the emergencies - THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SHAMEFUL!!!! 5) The file was not seen by ANY of the readers of this article! You'v no right 2 comment without knowing the facts.Like somebody said, there are 2 sides 2the story! I disagree,there are THREE! 1)patient's 2) staff's 3) the truth! 6) Who's been 2 Livingston here? Rephrased: WHO'S WORKED AS A DOCTOR at Livingstone? well,secret:I HAVE! Try surviving there! With the load of patients far outweighing the capacity of the Drs2 provide GOOD quality care

  • Adam - 2012-02-26 22:56

    by the way: it is our DESIRE to provide good quality of care! But its impossible. You have to ensure that peopl stay alive, and also that you get through everybody as quickly as is possible, otherwise you get sued!! You just cant win there! And then people shout and scream at you! What PE needs is ANOTHER hospital! The city's ill population is EXHAUSTING the limited hands and equipment! This is not to sound rude: it's the truth! Can the patient's be blamed? Of course NOT! But then again: the SAME can be said of the staff! We are there not to manage administration: we are there to render a service! But the public expects us to answer for everything! try contacting the ANC for a change! its not fair having to work your head off, with no appreciation, with your life in danger from the criminal elements and aggressive psychiatric patients that we have to deal with, eg! We dont have policeman guarding us! Nor do we have orderlies to help us to sedate psychiatric patients! But we try! And I WISH the public could give us SOME credit! especially since we sacrifice meals sometimes to try and help everybody! Who is there at night when we lie battered from the emotional trauma (and sometimes, though seldom, PHYSICAL... I say that boldly!!!) When we lose patients how do u think that makes us feel? We feel sorry for the patients who suffer! And I, personally, would not want the elephantiasis woman to suffer. But realistically speaking, people should follow the proper channels.

  • Adam - 2012-02-26 23:03

    By the way, people have rights! Every individual is MORE than welcome to try out the private hospitals if they are dissatisfied with the public sector! Nobody is stopping them! The public sector is WAY more affordable, but unfortunately their are rules to be followed, and certain sacrifices to be made! That is the reality! We do not ASK for it to be that way, but without it, there would BE no service! Sorry! By the way, the story that she was asked R200 for a lift home by the ambulance is SHAMEFUL! however, the ambulance service is NOT obligated to escort people home! people should also learn to MAKE PROVISION when they are in situations! Not just want to TAKE TAKE TAKE! This is just in general! Naturally, i dont understand her personal circumstances, so I cannot comment! If I can BLAME doctors, then i would say that they DONT give their patients enough information! this should change! I always do! Patients need to come to an understanding about their condition! So all in all, I think this whole situation boils down to bad governance politically! Perhaps the ANC should give some answers about the state of this country!

  • greg.kelebonye - 2012-10-02 09:12

    Appears that's the fate of many ordinary folks in South Africa. remember Nana. It was not until 3rd Degree broadcast her story that she got help. My aunt lives in Gopane and has the disease. The hospital have told her they want to amputate her more than a meter wide leg, but she wont do it. To what end? No wheelchair will accomodate her. So day in and day out, the only thing she knows is pain. Anybody, do you know where or how she could be helped. Sad thing is she is taking care of her aged and very ill mother. While my aunt is in South Africa, I live in Botswana. Please write me back at ( note the underscore) if you think there is a way she could be helped.

  • Margie D Grey - 2013-05-11 22:22

    Hi I want to know if you can sent me the details through of this person I would like to contact her because we can help margie43 please

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