Nurses accused of neglecting patients at Opuwo hospital

01 Nov 2014 18:00pm
OPUWO, 01 NOV (NAMPA) – Nurses at the Opuwo State Hospital have been accused of turning patients away without attending to them or giving any sort of medical treating.
Two incidences were reported to the Opuwo State Hospital management last week, where nurses apparently chased away patients who came to the hospital for treatment.
The first incident happened on Tuesday (21 October 2014) at about 17h00 when patients who could not be treated at the Opuwo clinic came to the casualty ward of the state hospital to get treatment.
The nurses apparently kept those patients waiting until 02h00 the next day when they told them to go back to their homes, without giving them any medication or attending to their ills and pains.
According to Tjakazapi Mbunguha, who was one of the patients seeking medical help on Tuesday, the nurses plainly and bluntly refused to attend to their needs that day.
“We called the Councillor of Epupa Constituency [Nguzu Muharukua] to intervene. When Muharukua arrived at the hospital to find out why people were not being treated, he was told that he did not have any mandate to instruct nurses to do their work. He was literally also told to leave the premises, as the nurses knew what they were doing,” noted Mbunguha.
On Sunday (26 October) at around 21h14, this reporter was alerted of some patients who were being refused treatment at the Opuwo State Hospital. Some said they had spent more than seven hours waiting for treatment at the casualty ward.
When Nampa arrived at the Opuwo State Hospital, there were 12 patients waiting for treatment with three nurses in the casualty ward, while a fourth nurse who was also on duty was just seating outside chatting to a security guard at the entrance of the hospital, while the patients waiting.
This incident was also reported to the hospital management.
Approached for comment on Thursday, the Director of Health for the Kunene Region Thomas Shapumba confirmed to Nampa that he has received one written complaint from Mbunguha and was attending to the complaint.
He however denied any knowledge of the second complaint of patients who were refused treatment at the same hospital on Sunday.
Shapumba also registered some disappointment with the manner in which some patients chose to deal with their concern about the nurses.
“How can you call for a councillor to come to the hospital when you have a problem with the nurses while there are managers at the hospital,” said Shapumba.
He explained that the casualty ward is meant for critical issues of emergencies, and when nurses help people there they should first give priority to the children before they can attend to adults who are critically in need of assistance.