DA: Health Ombud must probe discharge of patient with live maggots in wound

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has forwarded the case of a Durban woman, found to have live maggots infested in a leg wound, to the province’s Health Ombudsman for a thorough investigation.

The shocking incident took place recently at Osindisweni Hospital, outside Verulam, after the patient was originally admitted on 27 March. This after being admitted with cellulitis and leg wounds as a result of chronic osteoarthritis and swelling.

The DA is horrified by the treatment of Rani Nadesan at Osindisweni Hospital. Instead of receiving proper treatment and wound care at the facility, by the time she was discharged, her wound was infested with live maggots.

This incident is unfortunately reminiscent of Sadek Ebrahim’s dreadful experience at another KZN hospital – RK Khan in Chatsworth. In 2019, Mr Ebrahim was found with maggots inside his mouth due to lack of care. Sadly, he subsequently passed away due to his illness.

At that stage, there were promises from the MEC and KZN’s Department of Health that patient care would be prioritised. Regrettably, these promises have come to nothing and such incidents continue within our public sector hospitals.

It is common knowledge that KZN’s public hospitals are chronically understaffed. This has been cited by the DoH in numerous other instances of poor patient care.

MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu and her Department cannot continue to hide behind these excuses. The filling of all healthcare worker posts is essential and the MEC, Premier Sihle Zikalala and the provincial Treasury must fight for extra funds. In the short term, the Department must also make use of willing medical volunteers – as per their own policy – to fill the gaps and ensure proper patient care.

The DA is in the process of arranging its own oversight inspection at Osindisweni Hospital. We remain committed to continuing the fight to ensure that all our province’s people receive proper medical treatment in our public hospitals, as enshrined in our Constitution.

Issued by Rishigen Viranna, DA KZN Spokesperson on Health, 20 April 2021

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