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Patients protest poor service at Daveyton clinic after man dies in queue

Collen Mathe once arrived at clinic at 7 pm suffering from stomach ulcers. While he queued, he watched a man die while waiting in line.

About 100 protestors took to the streets yesterday to demand the expansion of Daveyton Main Clinic and an end to recurring HIV drug stock outs. The protest is the second in two years.

Collen Mathe once arrived at clinic at 7 pm suffering from stomach ulcers. While he queued, he watched a man die while waiting in line.

Collen Mathe once arrived at clinic at 7 pm suffering from stomach ulcers. While he queued, he watched a man die while waiting in line.

The picket was the latest organised by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). Following a 2013 protest former MEC for Health Hope Papo vowed to expand the small 24-hour clinic, which serves five heavily populated wards surrounding the East Rand township, according to TAC District Organiser Portia Serote.

Patients complain of health workers’ poor attitudes and that a shortage of space means they are often left queuing outside.

“It is sad that patients stand in long queues outside the clinic when they come to collect their medication,” TAC Gauteng Chairperson Sbongile Tshablalala told OurHealth. “Regardless of weather conditions, they have to stand outside for long hours only to be served by staff with bad attitudes.”

Collen Mathe once arrived at the clinic at 7 pm suffering from stomach ulcers. While he queued, he watched a man die while waiting in line.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when it happened,” he said. “I still think that man could have been saved if the staff was more attentive and there were more nurses on duty.”

The clinic also experiences shortages of treatment, especially antiretrovirals (ARV).

[quote float=”right”]”I still think that man could have been saved if the staff was more attentive and there were more nurses on duty.”

Busi Nhlapho, is HIV positive and currently on ARVs to help ensure her unborn baby will be born HIV negative. She says she is often given a week’s supply of treatment.

Typically, patients should be given at least one month of treatment at time.

“ARV shortages are a norm here,” she said. “We are often given a treatment which only lasts for a week, and are told to come back and fill up.”

Nhlapho also receives antenatal care at the clinic and added that nurses only see up to 30 expecting mothers a day.

“You have to arrive at the clinic at least half past five so that when registration starts at 7:30 am, you can make…the 30 people that they will serve,” she said. “Registration only happens for 30 minutes and if you didn’t make it to the list by 8:00 am, you know you have to come back the following day.”

Ekurhuleni Health District representative Mthuthuzeli Sboza arrived four hours after the start of the protest to receive a memorandum from the AIDS lobby group.

The Gauteng Department of Health had not returned requests for comment at the time of going to print.

Additional reporting by citizen journalist Thabo Molelekwa

About the author

Sibongile Nkosi

Sibongile Nkosi is a journalist and manages Health-e News' OurHealth Citizen Journalism project. Follow her on Twitter @Sbo_Rose

About the author

Thabo Molelekwa

Thabo Molelekwa joined OurHealth citizen journalists project in 2013 and went on to become an intern reporter in 2015. Before joining Health-e News, Thabo was a member of the Treatment Action Campaign’s Vosloorus branch. He graduated from the Tshwane University of Technology with a diploma in Computer Systems and started his career at Discovery Health as a claims assessor. In 2016 he was named an International HIV Prevention Reporting Fellow with the International Centre for Journalists and was a finalist in the Discovery Health Journalism Awards competition in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Thabo also completed a feature writing course at the University of Cape Town in 2016. In 2017 he became a News reporter , he is currently managing the Citizen Journalism programme.You can follow him on @molelekwa98

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