QwaQwa protests | Clinics and hospitals not admitting patients until shutdown is over

2020-01-23 08:37
Protest action in QwaQwa in the Free State. (Supplied)

Protest action in QwaQwa in the Free State. (Supplied)

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Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli Hospital and other health facilities situated in volatile Qwaqwa have temporarily closed their doors to new admissions.

Many roads in the area remain blocked off after residents went on the rampage, accusing the embattled Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality of failing to provide them with water.

Free State Department of Health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said it was not accepting new admissions for the QwaQwa facilities.

"Instead, we are diverting them, at high cost, to nearby towns. This alternative is also costly because it increases the burden on those health facilities that have their own burdens of diseases. It also puts pressure on health personnel at those health facilities.

"We are not removing any patients from QwaQwa health facilities because some of our dedicated health professionals have braved the threats and attended to the health-care needs of patients. Those who were trapped at health facilities on Monday went home safely without harm," Mvambi said.

He added the situation was tense in QwaQwa, but the department remained hopeful things would return to normality.

"We applaud every intersectoral attempt to mediate towards an amicable resolve by the provincial leadership led by the Cogta MEC who was mandated by the premier, local leaders and other stakeholders.

"We have been able to receive assistance with the securing of vehicles that are delivering essential supplies to health facilities such as food, medicines and water tanker trucks.

"While we sympathise with the calls for universal access to life-enabling and sustaining resources such as water, we think it is unforgivable that those who are campaigning for this right should at the same time prevent people from accessing much-needed and critical health-care services as well as preventing, intimidating and threatening health-care providers," Mvambi said.

He added the department was doing its best to secure water for clinics and hospitals in the area through Jojo tanks. 

"It baffles us that even the Geneva Protocol exempts health workers, health facilities and the media from being casualties of war. We think that this attack on health professionals deserves the highest levels of condemnation.

"We can't underplay the negative impact of the shutdown but we plead to all to find amicable ways to resolve this impasse without creating other future and irreparable damage to those who need health-care services now, those who need sustainable care towards their full palliative and rehabilitation as well as those who need preventative health-care services," Mvambi said.

Read more on:    health
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