Mr Lukas Dzivhani (right) shows his injured leg to Munna Ndi Nnyi's Dr Bardwell Mufunwaini. Also in the picture is Dzivhani's wife, Ms Nthuseni Khunwana.
A 48-year-old ambulant patient, who should have been operated on around late February, feels that his life is being compromised after the Tshilidzini Hospital turned him away at least four times.
Mr Lukas Dzivhani, who resides at Mvelaphanda section of Dzwerani village, is a builder and roofing constructor by profession. On 3 February, he was on top of a house when a timber pole gave way. He fell and broke his leg.
“My leg was totally broken, so that I could feel and even see the broken bone protruding through the skin,” he told Limpopo Mirror. “An excruciating pain such as I had never felt before in my whole life pierced through my heart.”
Dzivhani's wife, Ms Nthuseni Khunwana, called the ambulance, but three hours later the ambulance had not arrived yet. The family later arranged for a bakkie to ferry Dzivhani to hospital. “We had to use a bakkie since he couldn't fit properly inside a [sedan] car, because his broken leg needed to lie stretched out,” said Khunwana.
After a week, one doctor suggested the amputation of Dzivhani's leg, but another one was against the idea, saying that surgery would save his leg. Therefore, an operation was scheduled for the following week.
“I was still in much pain, but the hospital decided to discharge me on the basis that they wanted to use my bed for emergency cases,” he said. “What followed was a spate of operation appointments, but each time I got to the hospital I was turned away. They said there were in-hospital patients who had more serious conditions than mine. I was shocked to hear what they said because I was in much pain.”
Dzivhani said his life was being compromised and added that he feared that his leg might rot at any time. He is unable to work and earn a living to maintain his unemployed wife and four children. “What the hospital is doing to me is a bad thing – they are not treating me well,” he said. “I can't buy food and other necessities for my household now. They are making me feel less than the capable man that I know I am. Is this how our hospitals emasculate a family man and reduce him to 'nothing'?”
Now that six weeks have gone by since the hospital had scheduled Dzivhani's operation, Dzivhani's wife approached Munna Ndi Nnyi for help. “He wakes up in the night and complains about not working,” she said. “He is worried about his children, because he cannot fend for them.”
Munna Ndi Nnyi's director Dr Bardwell Mufunwaini said that Dzivhani should not have been discharged from the hospital in the first place. “Or if they felt that releasing him was an option, they should have referred him to the social workers, who would have assessed his condition to ensure that he received either food parcels or a temporary social grant.”
Department of Health spokesperson Mr Neil Shikwambana said that he would check the veracity of the case and get the facts about it before he could issue any comment.
Date:15 April 2019 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.