Patient’s Poor Treatment Sends Shockwaves

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By Anna Shilongo

WINDHOEK

Cases of neglect in the health sector are continuing. The latest case involves a 43-year-old-woman whose arm has developed septic wounds due to poor dressing by a health worker at Tsumeb hospital.

Monica Nefundja Elago was involved in a road accident between Tsumeb and Oshivelo two weeks ago. She was treated for injuries on her left arm at the Tsumeb State Hospital.

But instead of cleaning the minor cuts on the arm and legs, a nurse allegedly just applied some cream and bandaged the entire arm, allegedly leaving pieces of metal and small broken pieces of glass from the accident deeply embedded in her wounds.

Elago was admitted to hospital on February 18 to 26 this year.

Sensing poor service with the help she got, Elago decided to seek further medical assistance in the capital upon discharge from the Tsumeb hospital on February 26.

At the Katutura clinic in the capital, Elago’s condition sent a ripple of shockwaves among health officials there. Many could not believe that a professional nurse could have treated a patient the way Elago was treated, according to her.

It was found that Elago’s cuts actually had pieces of glass, dirty blood and sand from the accident. It appears that she was never cleaned before the nurse dressed her, according to a nurse who opted for anonymity.

Elago lost her younger brother in the accident. They were travelling from Rundu to Oshakati for an uncle’s funeral. Six people lost their lives as a result of the accident.

Elago was not happy with the service rendered at the Tsumeb State Hospital.

“There was a time I couldn’t turn my body or even walk to the toilet but whenever I called a nurse to help me turn, they would complain,” she said.

“On several occasions, I asked nurses to assist me. I can recall one who said it was about time I started walking on my own, I should walk by myself in order to get better,” she said.

Apart from the cuts she sustained from the accident, Elago also sustained injuries on her shoulder, back and hips. She is now being treated at the Katutura health centre and is happy with the nurses.

“I thank the nurses at this clinic for helping me. If it wasn’t for them, I would have lost my arm. They have been very helpful,” said Elago.

Hospital Superintendent Ndapandula Jacobs refused to comment and referred all queries to the Regional Health Director Maria Kavezembi.

“I am sorry, I haven’t heard of such a case being reported at this hospital and we are not allowed to comment. Try to speak to the regional health director.”
Kavezembi was not available for comment.

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