Mphaphuli had defaulted on antiretroviral medication and fallen sick by the time he walked into his local Diepkloof Clinic in November 2014. Nurses referred him to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital where the next available appointment was more than a month away.
Unhappy with what she perceived as a lack of urgency regarding her nephew’s case, Mphaphuli’s aunt Audrey Twala called the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), which sent a representative to the family, according to TAC Gauteng Treasurer Pule Goqo.
Together, the TAC member and Mphaphuli returned to the Diepkloof Clinic and demanded to know why he was not immediately sent to a doctor. By the time the pair left, Mphaphuli had been placed on Hepatitis treatment.
At his 5 February appointment at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Mphaphuli was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis, according to Twala. He then spent a week in the private Clinix Selby Park Hospital before being discharged with instructions to go for regular check ups at the Diepkloof Clinic.
Right clinic, wrong medication?
On 17 February, Mphaphuli arrived at the clinic to collect his treatment, but Twala claims her nephew returned with the wrong pills in hand.
“After two days taking that treatment, he called me from work to say this treatment is not the same as the one that was he taking,” she tells OurHealth. “I told him to stop taking the treatment immediately.”
“He was given the wrong treatment,” says Twala adding that when Mphaphuli reported the matter to the clinic, a doctor allegedly confirmed that Mphaphuli had been given medication meant for another patient.
According to Twala, Mphaphuli fell sick five days after being given the allegedly wrong medication. After attempts to call an ambulance failed, the family hired a private car to take Mphaphuli to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital where he died that same morning.
The family now wants to know what medication Mphaphuli allegedly received incorrectly and if it contributed to his death.
“As his family, we demand to know the wrong treatment that was given to him at the clinic,” Twala told OurHealth.
Diepkloof Clinic Facility Manager Daphne Xinti expressed condolences on the part of the clinic staff to Mphaphuli’s family. Both the clinic and the Gauteng Department of Health are currently investigating the matter and will be reviewing Mphaphuli’s patient file, according to Gauteng Department of Health’s Rebecca Kau.