Health care issues in Motlhabe

Community Alerts/Lentswe Buda/Motlhabe-Rustenburg/24/01/19

The health care centre of Motlhabe was established in 1996, it was provided with 2 standby ambulances as it was operating for a 24 hour period a day for 7days a week and providing health care services to two wards which is ward 6 and ward 8 consisting of 14 villages. Until the 1st of March 2016 when Motlhabe clinic staff reported shortage of staff members to the Department of health, as it was a 24 hour working clinic but it operated with only 3midwifes, 2 enrolled nursing assistance and two mono qualified professional nurses and they were unable to work four shifts to keep the clinic up and running for twenty four hours. It was all finalised that the clinic it will operate a period of twelve hours a day, conclusions were made without the community’s consent or consultations all we saw was just posts on the streets and local shops. Motlhabe clinic does not only provide the 14 communities but also the nearby mines employees, (Pilanesburg Platinum Mine and RMDC).
15 May 2018 the community of Motlhabe together with the APC had a peaceful march to the clinic and invited the representatives of the Department of Health to receive a memorandum of all the burning issues and grievances from the communities.
The following are the community concerns/complains:
•           In case of emergency at night we have no where to go, the only local health care centre closes at 16hour: 30min (04:30pm) you have to hire a car to take you to Moses Kotane Local Hospital and pay not less than 13 hundred of South African Rands (R1300.00) which we do not have, not to forget the fact that there is high rate of unemployment in South Africa.

Secondly when you have some emergency at night you must have a referral letter from the clinic for Moses Kotane Local Hospital to be assisted, many were returned from the hospital because of this referral letter, (this issue was denied by the representatives of the Department of Health, they claimed not to be aware of it).

•           Patients have to travel with early buses to queue up at the gate of the clinic from around 05:00am until 07:30am when the clinic opens, (security is always there but they are instructed not to allow any one to enter the clinic until the staff arrived).

•           Others have given birth at home because the clinic will be close at night and they can not afford to rent a car that will take them to Moses Kotane Hospital as it is the nearby hospital and others have given birth on the way to the hospital because the hospital is too far.

Secondly from September 2018 the clinic no longer provides with maternity services,  those who have relatives close to the hospital resides just to be close to the hospital and to avoid putting their lives and their babies lives at risks.

•           The clinic of Motlhabe has no efficient or effective service delivery, people would queue up the whole day and only to be told that they can not be helped, you should come back the next day because they ran out of that specific medication after all the hunger and drought, in results you would be given something else which wont help such as (PANADO for babies) or told to go buy it at the chemistry and because of desperation and the fact that we can not afford to visit a doctor we will come again the next day.

•           The community also demanded for the two ambulances that were given to the clinic in 1996 to work for the locals to help stop paying a lot of money that we don’t have help reduce the number of unsuccessful birth giving.

IN RESPONS OF THE MEMORANDUM THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SENT REPRESENTATIVES AND HELD A MEETING WITH THE COMMUNITY OF MOTLHABE AND ALL THE CONCERNS OF THE COMMUNITY WERE NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY THE ONLY THING THAT WAS SAID WHICH ENCOURAGED THE COMMUNITY IS THAT IT WONT BE LONG FOR THE CLINIC TO GET BACK INTO OPERATING FOR 24 HOURS AGAIN, BUT MONTHS LATER IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT SOON THE CLINIC WILL ONLY WORK FOR FIVE HOURS A DAY FOR SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

AS THE COMMUNITY OF MOTLHABE WE REQUIRE TO BE RECOGNISED AND TO BE ASSISTED WITH THE HEALTH CARE ISSUES WE FACING ON OUR DAILY BASIS.ACCORDING TO ARTICLE 25 OF THE UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL DECLARATIONOF HUMAN RIGHTS 1984 IT STATES THAT EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO A STANDARD OF LIVING ADEQUATE FOR THE HEALTH AND WELL BEING OF HIM/HERSELF AND OF HIS/HER FAMILY INCLUDING FOOD, CLOTHING, HOUSING, WATER, MEDICAL CARE AND NECESSARY SOCIAL SERVICES.
DUE TO THIS MATTER WE EXPERIENCE A LOT OF NEGATIVE IMPACTS AS COMMUNITIES IN RURAL AREAS. WE ARE SURROUNDED BY SO MANY PLATINUM MINING COMPANIES, WE LIVE UNDER A CLOUD OF DUST WE ENHALE A LOT OF DUST AND CHEMICALS AND YET WE ARE NOT WELL EDUCATED AND WE ARE NOT AWARE OF SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE HAVING IMPACTS IN OUR HEALTH SUCH AS PLATINOSIS, WE NOT AWARE THAT THE MINING COMPANIES ARE THE REASON THAT TODAY HUMANS LIFE PERIOD IS SHORTER THAN IT WAS BEFORE.
WE ARE NOW LIVING IN OVERPOPULATED AREAS BECAUSE OF THE COMPANIES NEARBY THEY SHOULD ASSIST US WITH KEEPING OUR HEALTH CENTERS MORE EFFECTIVE AS THEY ALSO PLAY A ROLE IN OUR HEALTH ISSUES. NON COMPLIANCE OF THESE MINING COMPANIES IN THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES REGARDING MINING CHARTER. OUR SO CALLED GOVERNMENT IS NOT ON OUR SIDE BUT WE ARE ONLY RECOGNISED DURING ELECTIONS WHEN OUR VOTES ARE NEEDED, WE ARE BEING TAXED THOUGH WE ARE UNEMPLOYED AND OUR TAX DOES NOT WORK FOR US OR OUR YOUNG ONES.
POOR WOMEN GIVING BIRTH ON THEIR OWN AT HOME AND YET THE DEPARTMENT OF HELTH STILL CLAIMS TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF HIV AND AIDS IN SOUTH AFRICA.
By Buda Lentswe
These sections are from a doccument that was written to the North West Provincial Legislature by Community member Buda Lentswe and APC PR council of ward 6 Mr Kunene Thulani after being ball played by Pilanesburg Platinum Mine, DMR as well as our local Traditional authorities.