Londiwe Xulu
journalist
4 minute read
12 Aug 2021
06:28

Outrage after dying man allegedly neglected and discharged by KZN hospital

Londiwe Xulu

Dirty, covered in blood, with an unpleasant smell and maggots in the wound on his neck.

Dirty, covered in blood, with an unpleasant smell and maggots in the wound on his neck.

That’s how a very sick Isipingo man was reportedly discharged from Prince Mshiyeni Hospital.

The man later died at home.

“When I was preparing to change his bandages, I noticed that he was scratching himself and wanted to take the bandage off. I was shocked to see maggots but had to hide that from him so that he wouldn’t feel bad.”
Nhlakanipho Manqele’s sister, Cynthia Msomi

Nhlakanipho Manqele (51) was admitted to Prince Mshiyeni Hospital on July 16, suffering from throat cancer.

He was kept there until July 30 when he was discharged in a neglected state from the hospital.

Manqele’s sister, Cynthia Msomi said she was still traumatised by what had happened to her brother. She is still waiting to undergo counselling.

“If visitors were allowed to see admitted patients, I would have spent more time with my brother,” said Msomi.

Msomi told The Witness, “When we got home and changed the bandages he had on, I was shocked to find that maggots had developed in the wound in his neck,” said Msomi.

Msomi added that when she fetched her brother from the hospital, she asked why they were discharging him because he looked so weak and why they didn’t change him seeing that he looked dirty and had a foul smell.

“I had to ask for extra bandages so I could change him at home before his clinic visit. When I was preparing to change his bandages, I noticed that he was scratching himself and wanted to take the bandage off. I was shocked to see maggots but had to hide that from him so that he wouldn’t feel bad.”

The next day, Msomi said she had to buy more things to clean her brother’s wound and couldn’t go back to the hospital. “All I wanted was to help my brother,” said Msomi.

She added that Manqele was taken to Albert Luthuli Hospital on July 28, but she wasn’t sure if it was for his radiation or chemotherapy.

“He came back with marks on his forehead and body and was told not to shower for three days, I don’t know why.”

Msomi said the hospital called her after they buried her brother.

“I’m not sure what the hospital can explain to me after the damage. They could’ve called me before my brother died and told me if he was not responding to the medication and if that’s why they discharged him,” said Msomi.

“This is nothing but gross negligence from Prince Mshiyeni Hospital, which has failed many poor and vulnerable people, and subjected them to inhumane and degrading healthcare. How did maggots develop in the patient’s wound if the patient was under doctors’ care? This indicates gross negligence by medical staff.”
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) statement

A short video clip sent to The Witness shows Manqele sitting on the side of a hospital bed holding a bandage full of his blood. Another blood-soaked bandage lies on the floor as blood drips from around his neck. In a very raspy voice, he says he’s dying and asks that someone calls him a doctor.

Other patients who were with him also cannot believe how much Manqele was bleeding and were asking themselves where the doctor was.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has demanded justice for Manqele and his family. “This is nothing but gross negligence from Prince Mshiyeni Hospital, which has failed many poor and vulnerable people, and subjected them to inhumane and degrading healthcare,” said the IFP. “How did maggots develop in the patient’s wound if the patient was under doctors’ care? This indicates gross negligence by medical staff.

“We implore the KZN MEC for Health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, to institute an urgent investigation into Mr Manqele’s death. All those involved must be held accountable. Negligence by medical staff in healthcare facilities is unacceptable and must come to an end.”

The statement adds, “It is time for government to stop playing hide-and-seek with problems in our hospitals and to embark on an extensive transformation drive to address all the ongoing issues, which have led to many hospitals becoming death traps.”

Spokesperson for the KZN Department of Health Mr Ntokozo Maphisa sent the department’s condolences to the family.

Maphisa cautioned the IFP about the dangers of disseminating any footage that depicts any patient in the care of the Department, saying it was illegal to do so and gave a one-sided account without context. He conceded that they are “concerned by these allegations.”

Maphisa added that the hospital management has tried to engage formally with the affected family, but were asked to give them an opportunity to bury their loved one.

Attempts for this engagement have resumed, said Maphisa.