Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Hot on the heels of a report that said children in Swaziland may have been infected with HIV because of poor medical conditions, comes news that the newly opened Moneni TB Hospital was infested with cockroaches and other vermin.

The hospital was so bad that it had to be sprayed at cost of E134 000 (17,000 US dollars) at a time when the Swaziland Ministry of Health and Social Welfare says it doesn’t have money to buy basic medical supplies.

And employees at the hospital are said to be in danger of catching tuberculosis (TB) because the ministry is not supplying them with face masks.

A source at the hospital told the Swazi News, an independent newspaper in Swaziland, ‘We do not have basic supplies like masks. The staff here is exposed to the drug-resistant TB XDR and if we do not have masks we can easily contract the disease. At the moment we are forced to use one mask for two weeks which is extremely unhealthy.’

The newspaper reported there are no extractor fans to purify air in the wards.

The source said, ‘Because there are no cars, the staff in accounts have to use buses to collect our pay slips. They also have to use their cellphones to call people for official duties because there is only one telephone line.

‘It would be better if the money for buying airtime was provided by government. But when you go to the administrator’s office she tells you that government does not have money to compensate the people using their personal airtime.’

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