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Limpopo villagers angry over ambulance shortages

An ambulance sits about 80 kms outside Mthatha at the Ngcwanguba satellite dispatch centre. File Photo/EMS
Written by Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Despite the Limpopo Department of Health having unveiled many state of the art ambulances so far this year, fed-up residents of Ha-Mashau village, near Louis Trichard are still waiting for an ambulance to be delivered at their local clinic.

Residents of Ha-Mashu still wait for the ambulance to be delivered  to their local clinic.

Residents of Ha-Mashu still wait for the ambulance to be delivered to their local clinic.

“We have tried everything to get the Department of Health to provide us with an ambulance which will help us to transport our loved ones when they get sick. Nothing is being done for us and it is so painful for us. We are losing people because of this problem,” said Jonas Mugovhani, the Democratic Alliance representative in the area.

Last year many residents from the local community – which numbers around 15 000 – watched a man die in front of the local clinic gates after he was knocked over by a speeding car.

Months have passed since the incident, and now angry residents believe their cries to the government and Department of Health in the province have gone unheard, and they will not be getting the dedicated ambulance they need.

“It is useless to have a clinic without an ambulance. Sometimes I think it is better and more important to have an ambulances rather than a clinic,” said Mugovhani.

Ha-Mashau village is just one of many villages in the Vhembe suffering a shortage of ambulances at their local clinics.

“We are forced to use private cars when we want to rush the sick to the hospital in emergencies. It is not fair as some other village clinics have received an ambulance,” said Mashudu Mulatedzi, a resident of Mashau village. She said pregnant women in particular were impacted as they were generally forced to hire private cars to transport them to the clinic or hospital.

Thabiso Teffo, spokesperson for the MEC of Health in the province, said: “We are doing our best to make sure that we provide necessary medical equipment to all our people. This includes ambulances. More are still going to be distributed in the province this year as we value the health of our people.” – Health-e News.

About the author

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho is citizen journalist who is based in the Vhembe District of Limpopo province. He joined OurHealth in 2015 and his interests lie in investigative journalism and reporting the untold stories of disadvantaged rural communities. Ndivhuwo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from the University of Venda and he is currently a registered student with UNISA.

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