Elephantiasis sufferer turned away

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feb 20 hospital bed sxc.hu A woman with elephantiasis has laid a complaint against a hospital after she was turned away from without treatment.

A 37-year-old woman with elephantiasis has laid a complaint against the Livingstone hospital in Port Elizabeth after she was turned away without treatment, the Eastern Cape health department said on Monday.

“She alleges that one doctor allegedly told her to go to the casualty area where she waited for hours and realising that she was not getting any help she then broke down and cried,” said department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo.

He said the woman claimed her she had open wounds and was in extreme pain as the result of the disease.

The woman – who visited the hospital on February 13 – said the doctors only looked through her file and then told her to go home to a clinic near her home just outside Port Elizabeth.

She then asked for an ambulance to take her home as she was finding it difficult to walk but was told by ambulance personnel in casualty that she would have to pay R200 for a lift.

“She refused this and said she would rather get a private taxi to take her home.”

Without any treatment, the woman further alleged, her open wounds attracted flesh-eating maggots and she decided to visit a traditional healer.

Kupelo said the department had been in contact with the hospital's CEO Thulani Madonsela, who was investigating the incident and in particular the doctors and nurses who had been involved. He would also be studying the woman's medical records.

Kupelo said that, according to the woman, she had been diagnosed with elephantiasis in 2006. However she had not requested any treatment until she was admitted to Livingstone hospital in January this year.

“She alleges on discharge she was not prescribed treatment. She says the pain is unbearable, she is bed-ridden, she cannot even use the wheelchair provided to her because she cannot (because of the disease) fit anymore.

Kupelo said the department was also going to take the matter further and try to help the woman with medical assistance.

Elephantiasis is a disease that affects the skin and tissue and is caused by parasitic worms. – Sapa


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Eugenia, wrote

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01:23pm on 20 February 2012
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Doctors donot care anymore they just talk big english and send you home with panado if you lucky. she is telling the truth they just send you away without even noticing how bad is this deases going to affect your life.Iwas involved in a taxi accident ,it rolled over and we landed with our heads then taken to hospital to xray.the so called doctor send us home with panado,when I was home the pains were unbearable. the next day my husband took me to other hospital they examine me and find that my colorbone and ribs are fructured and the middle of my backbone is suffered too IT is been three months i am still visiting the hospital,my backbone is giving me a lot of trouble i cannot properly bend down imagine if i stayed at home thinking that the doctor knows what he was talking about.After three months i am still very saw i sleep with one side because the otherside gives me some headache if i happen to sleep with.So people do not let the doctors predicts about your injuries or sickness.Find some help somewhere and talk about what happen and get help,doctors think they own hospital mostly those outside doctors you find them hiding in the examroom with our daughters the nurses talking softly you walk in there you can see you not wellcome they haule at you like you are a dog,what do you want who tald to come in here and these doctors look at you even if you old they do not care

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Anonymous, wrote

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12:13pm on 20 February 2012
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my sister died in 2008 @ Groote Schuur Cape town she had elephantiasis and they were sending her for test and only give her Panado nothing else for pains.She used to cry because of pains but i couldnt do anything .I took her to the traditional doctors also i even went to Eastern cape as i was looking for the best traditional doctor that can help my sister.After she died only the doctors wanted to amputate the leg and send it to the lab so they can see the cause and see if they can get treatment .I told them its rather to late for that as i was begging them to cut the leg so she can sleep at night with no pains. Government clinics are all the same

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Peeved, wrote

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12:11pm on 20 February 2012
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They probably don't know how to treat her in the 1st place and in the 2nd place probably are just too lazy!!!

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