Swaziland
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RESIDENTS PICKET AT PIGG’S PEAK HOSPITAL OVER DRUGS SHORTAGE

MBABANE -Barely a week after patients at the Mbabane Government Hospital protested over lack of drugs and poor service, residents of Pigg’s Peak petitioned the hospital over drug shortages.

Residents, including some nurses, who took some time out to join the brief picketing at the entrance to the Pigg’s Peak Government Hospital, complained about the shortage of drugs at the hospital and also lack of service delivery by the Ministry of Health. The residents delivered a petition to officials of the hospital, but before doing so, they also chanted some songs and showed placards with messages about their demands.

Injection

One of the messages read, ‘Phatsa wakho unjovo’ meaning ‘bring your own injection or medication’.  Mzwandile Ntshalintshali, the Secretary of the Pigg’s Peak Branch of the National Public Service and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU), was also among the residents. Nondiswa Shiba, who was also among the residents, read out the petition. Ntshalintshali used the platform to criticise what he referred to as poor service delivery by the government, adding that the situation was neglected in the country’s hospitals.

Blocked

He noted how patients at the Mbabane Government Hospital had blocked the entrance to the hospital in protest of poor service delivery. He also noted that over a week ago, they had also delivered a petition at the Maguga Hospital, which is one of the facilities used by some of the residents of Pigg’s Peak. He said they had not gone to the facilities as unions or political organisations, but that they were residents who used the hospitals too. In the petition, Shiba noted that the health facilities continued to lack basic health services.

He said the Pigg’s Peak Government Hospital was ‘besieged’ by the shortage of drugs and other basic necessities. She said this problem had been going on for a very long time and that many lives bad been lost in the process. Meanwhile, Dan Dlamini, a resident who was recently nominated for the position of Bucopho, said he was disappointed at the number of people who attended the brief protest. He said he was expecting that there would be many people in attendance because the situation of the shortage of drugs was affecting everyone.

Indicated

He said even some of the people who had indicated that they would attend the day before the action had not shown up. Meanwhile, in addition to complaints about medication, there were also concerns of the X-Ray which was not functioning and that sometimes patients were turned back or referred to other facilities. Medical personnel, who asked not to be mentioned, said this resulted in patients spending longer time waiting for assistance and that this caused the hospital to run out of beds.

Noteworthy, a contingent of police officers was present to keep watch of the delivering of the petition. There were more police officers than the people who had arrived to deliver the petition. Some of the police officers were in civil, while at least 10 of them including the Station Commander, Superintendent Dino Nzalo, were present.