24 hours of Hell in UTH one year under PF

24 hours of Hell in UTH one year under PF

Dear Editor

I am writing because I was shocked and still shocked that UTH could keep very sick patient admitted and there is no running water, and no drugs and fluids and we are given false picture. I feel the government does not care about Zambians lives. This is in connection with the suffering my patient and I  underwent on the 28th of August, 2012, when I took my ill cousin to the UTH Adult Filter Clinic. The trust I had of the UTH and its government is badly damaged.

I took my cousin who had a breathing problem. People at the reception, doctors and nurses were surprisingly efficient. A Congolese doctor said Numonia was suspected and admitted my cousin and some tests would be done.

I was given a prescription to buy some fluids and drugs because his pressure was very low. I was told best fluids to raise blood pressure was out of stock.  I rushed to Kabwata and indeed a drip was started and injections given. The drip came out  and I was asked to go and buy a better plaster to or hold the drip. I rushed to kabwata again.  At about 20:00hours, my cousin looked bright, and so we could go for a chest X-ray. It was a ride-and-a-half. After a potholed ride, on a broken wheel chair, I was told the xray won’t be done because there was no water in the entire hospital! I got so upset, but I was told to complain next day as the in-charge had knocked off.

I  was told that the blood samples had to be taken to the lab before they got spoiled. Since prescriptions had eaten my money in my pocket,  I begged Id pay next day if the tests could still be done. I was told I need to pay or borrow from someone. Thanks God , the 17:00 hour  visiting hour brought some heaven manna. I rushed to pay for the bloods labs upstairs. The lab man told me that blood tests were not being  done as there was no water. I was so upset with him. He showed me a circular which said there would be water supply interruptions. A refund to take tests elsewhere was refused.

I went back to my cousin who had eaten and took some bottled water. Night time came, toilet were smelling and there was no water. Very ill patient were being brought in very dirty unflushed toilets. There no paper.

Did the UTH management expect the sick people to guess there was no water or use leaves? I looked at  the  ward full of very sick people. What of those who needed water and can not afford to buy? What of those patients who had AIDS and diarrhoea? What of the sanitary staff who might have wanted to do some cleaning to prevent spread of infections? We were told doctors  and nurses are well paid enough to shut up.

I was tired to being annoyed. I felt hopeless, weak, demoralised and drained. The little hope I had about UTH went to the water. It was the longest night I have ever had with my sick cousin, sick tummies,  sick toilets, rotting bloods in my pocket, sick cousins chest which we cannot check with Xray, rotten moods around me. You mean this whole hospital has no water tank to sustain us for a night? Who can survive without water? How can the dying Zambians survive without water? If the hospital knew water repairs had to be done, wouldn’t they have announced on radio so that  people can bring their own buckets and mugs and jars of water? The staff were told, but this neither helped them nor the patients.

Should we have shortages of so many things with a new government which promised to deliver? Were things this bad with MMD? Would HH or Chipimo have tolerated this? I was told ministers and government official come to UTH but they are taken to areas where there are fewer patients and cleaner rooms like high-cost or Laundry or  Kitchen. Three people in government today were Ministers of Health in MMD days (M Sata, Sylvia Masebo and Prof. Luo) They used to visit UTH in the night without notice. Where has this spirit gone? Was the electorate fooled? Can the current elderly Minister of Health even manage to take these private tours?

We have no money in the pockets. We have no access to government coffers to afford India. But should we really be taking our beloved ones to death traps?We seek basic needs like water and food and good health which are not available in the most important institutions of the sick. Is this government working? How come this was is not  captured by the free government press journalists, if I my ask. There is need to overhaul the UTH management or the government itself before many Zambians continue dying. May His Soul Rest in peace.


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