Nondumiso Mhlongo is a 19-year-old mother who tested positive for HIV while pregnant. She gave birth on 23 August last year and, according to procedure, went to Impilwenhle six weeks later to have a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test done to determine if her baby boy was HIV positive or not. She was told to come back two weeks later for the results.
”I went to the clinic to collect my baby’s result and was told they were not back from the laboratory, and I was told to come back in a month’s time. The waiting was too much,’ Nondumiso said.
‘A month later I again went back but I still got no result, and this time the nurse was very rude to me, saying it was not her fault that I’m not getting my results,’ says Nondumiso.
After six month of not knowing whether her baby was HIV positive, Nondumiso’s friend suggested she went to another clinic, Imbalenhle, to try and retrieve her baby’s result. To her relief, she got her result and the baby was HIV negative.
A sister at Imbalenhle Clinic, where Nondumiso got her result, said: ”We are tired of doing a job for these lazy sisters who work at the Impilwenhle Clinic. What is the point of that clinic?
‘I have had a lot of similar issues where clients are ill-treated. They do not get their PCR or CD4 count results and we have complained about their behaviour, but no one listens,’ she said.
OurHealth went to the clinic to see if there were any specific challenges that affect service delivery at Impilwenhle Clinic. At 7am the gates were closed and some patients were already waiting outside. Some complained of the poor service at the facility and rude staff.
Nomusa Mthalane, a diabetic patient, said: ‘When we complain of their behaviour, they will tell us they are not employed by us and even our councillor won’t do a thing about it.’
The clinic gates opened at 8.10am the manager of the clinic refused to comment about why the staff did not provide patients’ results on time.
Thandiwe Mazanqinqi-Zamisa is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Umgungundlovu health district in KwaZulu Natal.