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Mob violence forces QwaQwa health facilities to close their doors

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Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli Hospital and other health facilities situated in volatile QwaQwa have temporarily closed their doors to new admissions, following mob violence that forced lockdowns to protect staff.

News24 report that many roads in the area remaining blocked off after residents went on the rampage, accusing the embattled Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality of failing to provide them with water.

Free State Health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said it was not accepting new admissions for the QwaQwa facilities. He added the situation was tense in QwaQwa, but the department remained hopeful things would return to normality. He added the department was doing its best to secure water for clinics and hospitals in the area through Jojo tanks.

He said: “It baffles us that even the Geneva Protocol exempts health workers, health facilities and the media from being casualties of war. We think that this attack on health professionals deserves the highest levels of condemnation.”

The pharmacy and laboratory at Mofumahadi Manapo Mopeli Hospital in QwaQwa remained closed following the total shutdown that had left many parts of Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality under lockdown. News24 reports that doctors and nurses were trapped inside the hospital as the situation in the area turned volatile.

Residents in various parts of QwaQwa had taken to the streets demanding water. The protest came about after an eight-year-old girl drowned while fetching water from a river.

The report says patients at the hospital had not received medication as the laboratory was closed due to pharmacists not being able to make it to work. A hospital employee, who asked to remain anonymous, called on the government to deploy military medical services to the hospital and clinics to prevent the situation from escalating further.

The employee pleaded that soldiers should come to their rescue and evacuate all patients to other functional hospitals in the province. She said there were only six student nurses and four permanent ones on duty in the 300-bed hospital.

The report quotes the hospital’s CEO, Dr Balekile Mzangwa, as saying that water shortages was one of the main challenges in the area, despite the minimum services being provided by the municipality.

Full News24 report

Full News24 report

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