Nurses deliver twins in room where they have lunch

BIG SQUEEZE: Sister Thelma Sishuba attends to Greshem Lewies, 26, in a corridor that has to be used as an observation area at the Malabar clinic because of chronic space shortages at the facility. The overcrowding was brought to light on Thursday during an oversight visit led by DA provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga
Image: EUGENE COETZEE

Nurses at the Malabar clinic had to deliver premature twins on a consultation bed in the same room they eat their lunch because of an acute shortage of space at the facility.

The situation is so bad that a passageway is being used as a observation room and a boardroom the clinic shares with Ward 12 councillor Sharlene Davids is being used as an additional consultation room.

Overcrowding at the clinic, caused by a large-scale influx of patients from surrounding communities, has been a problem since the closure of Helenvale clinic in October 2018.

Nurses from the Helenvale facility had to be transferred to Malabar after their clinic was plagued by a spate of robberies and gang activities.

The space problem at Malabar was brought to light on Thursday during an oversight visit by DA provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga, who was accompanied by MPLs Jane Cowley and Retief Odendaal and Bay councillors Leander Kruger, Davids, Jonathan Lawack and Pieter Hermaans.

Addressing the DA delegation, nurse Saadeeka Sandan said lack of space was a huge problem at the clinic.

“Our kitchen was converted into a consultation room due to the huge numbers coming here.

“There are people from Helenvale, Korsten and Malabar and we see about 2,500 [a month].

“Just last week, we delivered premature twins in the tiny consultation room where we have an office as well as the same room we have our lunch in.

“I don’t think this is any way for us to work, or patients to be treated, but luckily both the mom and babies were fine,” Sandan said.

“We moved from Helenvale to here because our staff were threatened and intimidated.

“There was a month where we had 10 incidents and we could no longer continue working there as it was not conducive,” Sandan said.

Sandan said because of the gangsterism, the Helenvale facility’s patients were unable to move around freely and many defaulted on their chronic medication.

BY NOMAZIMA NKOSI

 

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