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Collapsed eSwatini health system: Woman hires private Ambulance for E5000.00 trying to save husband’s life.

Friday, 29th January, 2021

MBABANE: Zelda Fakudze, a resident of Macetjeni in the Lubombo region was forced to pay E5000.00 to secure services of a private Ambulance in the midst of the health crisis that resulted to the shortage of  health workers or working equipment including Ambulances.

Speaking to this Swaziland News audio channel on Friday  during the current affairs programme, Fakudze said her husband was admitted at the Luke Commission, however, she decided to transport him to Mankayane Government Hospital after learning that many patients were dying within that privately owned health facility.

“At the Luke Commission they were reluctant to release him, we then learnt that while on our way to Mankayane, the Luke Commission called the doctors at Mankayane warning them not to admit my husband and when we arrived there, they refused to admit him. I called other hospitals for assistance but all my efforts hit a snag and I had to take him back to the Luke Commission. The private Ambulance charged E3000.00 to transport him to Mankayane and after they refused to admit him, the Ambulance demanded E2000.00 more to take him back to the Luke Commission where he later died the following the day. It was so painful for me because I was hoping that my husband would survive and I had to spent all these monies trying to save his life, I didn’t get any assistance from government since there are no Ambulances”, she said.

Reached for comments, Dr Vusi Magagula, the Director of Health Services asked to be contacted later, he said he was attending a meeting and would contact this journalist thereafter.

“Let’s talk later, I have a meeting with the NDMA and then another one later, I will contact you or you can also call after an hour” said the Director of Health Services.

Another effort made to reach the Director of Health Services on Friday afternoon proved unsuccessful.

Speaking to this publication, Nonhlanhla Dlamini, the Director of the Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse(SWAGAA) said women are the most affected in the midst of the pandemic as they are expected to take care of their relatives who are sick.

"You will note that a woman is always there whenever a member of a family is sick, even in hospitals you will find them taking care of their relatives. So in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, women are the most affected" she said.

Bheki Mamba, the President of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union(SWADNU) has been consistently putting pressure on government to provide working equipment in the various hospitals including Ambulances.

When this publication contacted the Luke Commission at Sidvokodvo, the receptionist requested contact details for this journalist promising that  the Spokesperson of the health facility would call back, however, the institution had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

Collapsed eSwatini health system: Woman hires private Ambulance for E5000.00 trying to save husband’s life.
Another private Ambulance parked at the Gables Ezulwini