The M.N. Cindi Clinic in Ermelo, about 90 kms east of Secunda is being renovated. But as walls get a fresh coat of paint and floors are re-tiled, health workers and patients say that dust and paint fumes are making them sick.
One clinic counselor, who wished not to be named, said she suffers from headaches due to the paint fumes.
“It would have been better if the staff had been moved to other clinics during renovations,” she told OurHealth. “Some of the health care workers have decided to go on leave as they are struggling to work under this situation.”
Nurse Nolwethu Miya said the renovations have sparked coughing fits and that she was considering taking leave to get out from under the dust. She expressed concern hat some patients may have stopped coming to the clinic during the work.
A senior Mpumalanga Department of Health official said the department was caught off guard by the construction and alleged that the department had not informed about when work would begin on the clinic.
“For this reason, patients were not informed and no alternative arrangements could have been made,” she said.
An M.N. Cindi Clinic patient, Linda Mpofu, said that nurses are also having a hard time accessing patient files.
“We are asked to bring containers of the treatment that we are currently taking so they can be to give us treatment because our file cabinets are inside the clinic,” she told OurHealth.
The Mpumalanga Department of Health could not be reached for official comment.