Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Thank you to the reader who contacted me after I wrote about the cockroaches at the newly opened Moneni TB Hospital to tell me this was nothing new.

The health services in Swaziland are a disgrace, they said. And they were right.

A quick look at some recent cases proves the point beyond dispute.

Swaziland’s largest health facility, the Mbabane Government Hospital was officially declared a health hazard to patients, lodgers and other people residing within its vicinity. An investigation found that the hospital was generally failing to manage its clinical waste. This exposed patients and visitors to the hospital to contagious diseases and other infections. READ

Hlatikhulu Government Hospital, the only referral hospital in the Shiselweni region, faced indefinite closure after inspectors said the hospital didn’t comply with health standards. READ

All toilets at the Mbabane Government Hospital were blocked. Women in the maternity wards had to go for days without bathing. When they do get the chance to bath, they can only use the sink at the mortuary. READ

Government hospital and clinics in Mankayane faced an electricity crisis which lasted at least three weeks because of unpaid bills. It was reported that the government failed to pay electricity bills for the health facilities, so the electricity company cut them off. READ

Even though it is the only hospital in the Lubombo region, the Good Shepherd Hospital does not have an ambulance. The hospital is in Siteki in the eastern part of the kingdom, one of the most drought-stricken areas in the kingdom, which is often beset by sicknesses such as diarrhoea, often caused by lack of water. READ

Mankayane Government Hospital forced patients to leave after a water crisis hit the institution. Many patients were seen walking out of the hospital wards. Some were pushed on wheelchairs and others supported as they were led to rest under trees at the parking lot. Pickup trucks with mattresses were at the parking lot, while some seriously sick patients sat listlessly on blankets, most of whom seemed disoriented. Concerned relatives stood nearby, with folded arms. READ

Bodies at the Hlathikhulu Government Hospital are piled one on the other as the mortuary has only eight drawers. This is the same hospital that health inspectors once recommended be closed because it was not fit to be hospital, but government promised to seek funds to help rehabilitate it. A few months later, the situation is almost the same if not worse. It was reported that patients at one female ward protested because a body of a dead woman was kept in one of the beds as there was no space at the mortuary. READ

Patients are being taken to the Mbabane Government Hospital’s theatre at their own risk because most of the critical medical technological analyzers at the hospital’s laboratory are down. READ

Mbabane Government Hospital and others have a serious shortage of bandages. According to a source at the hospital, a number of patients had their bandages left unchanged, which left a foul smell in the wards. READ

And it goes on and on and on.

For yet more cases, go to the Swaziland Solidarity Network Canada Wikispaces here.

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