Shooting victim denied proper treatment

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Selma Ikela

Windhoek-A 34-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his lower leg, which has turned septic, is worried he could lose his leg after nursing staff turned him away from the Katutura State Hospital where he had gone to seek treatment.
Hercules ‘Fischer’ Hansen says for the past two weeks nurses have been turning him away saying there were no doctors to treat him.

The acting permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Petronella Masabane, could not be reached for comment on the matter.

Hansen was shot by an unknown person during the early hours of January 13, 2018, while in the company of four friends and sustained a broken leg. The assailant, who was driving in a white BMW, drove away after the shooting.
Hansen was admitted at Katutura State Hospital for a week where he got an external fixation device fitted to stabilise the fractured bones and keep them in alignment.

He says he has been suffering from excruciating pain and had received some Paracetamol but they got finished. He has been buying pills, however, the hospital has told the unemployed patient to buy his own crutches, as the hospital apparently does not have any due to the current cost cuts.

Hansen has been cleaning the wound at home with salt water but a month ago it turned septic. He said a nurse at Katutura health centre, where he once went for dressing, told him the wound is a dry wound and that he should clean it at home.

He was given an ointment.
“The frustrating part is going to the hospital but we don’t get treatment and we are paying. The fact that we are cleaning the wound doesn’t make it better. There is pus coming out,” remarked Hansen’s older sister Riana, adding that the doctor also told Hansen to put pressure on the leg but this seems to worsen matters as the wound wells more.

Hansen lives with Riana and two other siblings following their mother’s death a few years ago. Riana is the sole breadwinner in the family and she fears that Hansen’s leg might be amputated and that would diminish his employment prospects.

During a visit to Hansen’s residence, the young man told New Era that when he previously went to the hospital for his follow up, the doctor just checked on him and wrote in the medical passport without cleaning the wound.

The shooting
Hansen said he has opened a police case though he does not know the suspect. However, Khomas regional commander, Commissioner Silvanus Nghishidimbwa, advised Hansen that he could still open a case of attempted murder.
He said the person seated in the BMW fired several shots at them and one struck him in the leg, breaking his bone. Hansen and his friends had returned from a filling station in the area where they bought cigarettes and were on their way home. Hansen, who visited several outlets that evening, said he did not have any argument with anyone prior to the shooting incident.

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