Nabeela Vadwalla | Image: Google Maps |14 May 2016
When a hospital shuts down, an entire community is denied medical services and healthcare. Such is the situation at the General De Larey Hospital in Lichtenburg, situated in the North West province of South Africa where more than 80 babies are born weekly.
This hospital offers medical services to the Lichtenburg public and surrounding areas. When asked about the situation at the hospital, board member and community activist, Bakiya Khan, said quite bluntly: “It is pathetic. The budget for the current year is already depleted. Cleaning materials are sponsored but the hospital needs maintenance, big time.”
Khan added, “the wards need painting of walls and ceilings, it would be great if we could replace bathrooms with new basins and baths since these are as old as the hospital. Hospital equipment like BP machines and monitoring tools are also needed. The hospital that used to be a healing institution with great potentials is now no more and the four doctors that serve in two hospitals have to make do with that which is there.”
Some units of the hospital have already been shut down, with only the maternity ward in operation. From a fully fledged hospital, there exists just a single ward with just four doctors to tend to patients.
In 2015 there were talks of the complete shutdown of the institution. However, due to the dire need the hospital has been kept operational but does not cater fully to the medical needs of the ill and injured. Khan lamented that if it does shut down, the closest hospital for anyone requiring healthcare would be Bophelong Hospital in Mafikeng, 60km away.
In January 2016 there was an increasing need for water at the hospital due to the effects of the national drought. The hospital required just two water tanks, however, after contacting various charity organizations there was no response. This resulted in the Lichtenburg Muslim Aid taking it upon their own shoulders to supply the various clinics in the area with water tanks.
Khan and various others, have been fighting to keep the General De Larey Hospital open. She herself gave birth to her eldest son in the hospital in 1983, where many other children of the community were also born.
She has called upon the community of South Africa to adopt the hospital. She told Salaamedia that, “the hospital needs qualified doctors and nurses, the additional staff need education on patient treatment and healthcare, the hospital requires resources and the building needs an uplift. Whatever contribution to the hospital that can be made will help the entire community and surrounding.”
For any information about the hospital, contributions or to adopt the hospital please contact Bakiya Khan at firstname.lastname@example.org .