Addicts target patients for their medication

Addicts target patients for their medicationFile Photo.

Drug addicts who live near the Boiki Tlhapi Clinic in Ikageng, North West, are apparently robbing patients of their medication.

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Ikageng’s drug problem is on the rise say patients who have collected their medication at Boiki Tlhapi Clinic only to be robbed by drug addicts.

A few abandoned buildings situated next to the clinic are believed to house drug addicts according to the clinic’s employees who say there have been more than four cases of patients being robbed of their medication reported this year.

It appears that patients are robbed of their medication by drug addicts.

Housing criminals

Thabo Sechoaro, who works as a data capturer at the clinic, says that the hostel behind the abandoned houses is home to drug dealers and criminals. When addicts don’t have money for the drugs they need, they resort to robbing patients. All of the known cases happened during the day.

“The problem lies with the hostel. It’s home to drug dealers, and now these drug addicts use those abandoned houses as their smoking area. That’s their hang out spot. And if they don’t have money, they rob our patients of their medication during the day,” he said.

When addicts don’t have money for the drugs they need, they resort to robbing patients. All of the known cases happened during the day.

Keneilwe Rabula, a member of the clinic’s committee, says they once found a load of empty medication packages at of one the houses, along with needles and syringes which she said posed a health risk as it was medical waste.

“It shows that these people inject themselves with medication right here, and then they just dump everything right here. What they are doing is wrong,” she said.

Ikageng SAPS said that they have received tip-offs regarding drug activities in that area, and have made arrests in the past. However, not one case of a patient being robbed of their medication has been opened yet.

An edited version of this story was published by Health24.