Date:11 February 2017 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
The state of medical services in the country recently hit the front pages of newspapers in the country and abroad – for the wrong reasons. The death of 94 psychiatric patients in Gauteng led to the resignation of the Gauteng Health MEC, Ms Qedani Mahlangu.
Closer to home, it was announced that an 83-year-old gogo died a horrific death in a local hospital.
Initial reports state that Mrs Mujaji Manganyi of the Xikuhele Village near Waterval sustained third-degree burn wounds and passed away after falling in a bath filled with boiling water in the Elim Hospital. The incident took place last Thursday (2 February), and after the incident, it was reported that a unit manager and a junior nurse at the Elim Hospital had been suspended.
Her family now wants to see justice done, and claims her death was a result of gross negligence on the side of hospital staff. News of the gogo’s brutal death sent shock waves throughout the country and the medical fraternity. Soon after news of her death was made known, the MEC for Health, Ms Phophi Ramathuba, visited the hospital and the grieving family at Xihuele, where she offered her condolences.
According to the MEC, the department has appointed a high-level team to investigate the circumstances surrounding the case. “The two staff members have since been suspended as the persons responsible for the care and safety of all patients in the unit,” she said. She also mentioned that all others involved in the alleged negligent act would be held accountable.
Ramathuba said her department viewed the incident in a serious light and it would take action against those involved. “I am so disappointed. The gogo came to our facility for a cataract operation, which was successful.”
Talking to staff members at Elim hospital before visiting the Manganyi family, Ramathuba asked how somebody could burn in boiling water and how they could leave an elderly patient unattended. “It is like leaving a small baby in a bath filled with water,” she added. According to her the incident was an embarrassment, adding that a team would investigate the incident and provide feedback within five working days.
The family said they were still in shock after the incident. "We still cannot believe that Mujaji is gone. This is a very bad situation for the family. We are all saddened by her death. She did not deserve to die like this," said family spokesperson Jabulani Manganyi. He added that they were not pointing fingers at anybody, “but hope that a post mortem will shed light on the reason for her death.”
The gogo will be buried tomorrow (Saturday) at 06:00 at Xikuhele.
The deceased, gogo Mujaji Manganyi (83).
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.