Thursday, June 20, 2019

Swaziland health crisis: fearful psychiatric nurses say they might release patients

Psychiatric nurses in Swaziland / eSwatini say they might release patients from their clinic because there are no drugs to subdue them after supplies ran out and they fear for their own safety.

The drug shortage is part of a nationwide health crisis after the government failed to pay suppliers.

Nurses at the National Psychiatric Centre, near Manzini, have been drawing attention to the problem for some months, but government has failed to respond.

Nurses told the Swazi Observer newspaper that they suffered violence from patients. 

It quoted one nurse saying, ‘The wards have become battle rings because the patients are fighting more than usual since there are those who need to be kept in check through medication. It’s hard for us because our patients can’t reason due to their ailment.’

Meanwhile, senators in Swaziland have given the Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi seven days to submit a detailed report highlighting the problems in the health sector, including the drug shortages and proposed industrial action by health workers. 

Public services, including health, are grinding to a halt as the government, which is not elected but handpicked by absolute monarch King Mswati III, has repeatedly failed to pay suppliers. Medicines have run out in public hospitals and clinics and children who rely on free food at schools to fend off hunger go unfed.

See also

Swaziland hospital crisis: govt not paid bills so patients only eat bread

HIV drugs not available across Swaziland as health crisis deepens

No comments: