No joy for MM asthma patient

David Tshepang Morebodi

Khayelitsha patient, David Tshepang Morebodi, has accused the Michael Mapongwana Community Health Centre staff of being rude and ill-treating him when he visited the clinic to fetch his asthma medication.

Mr Morebodi told Vukani that he often had trouble getting the staff to give him the medication and the last time he was there two weeks ago, he nearly left without the medication.

He said he had been embroiled in verbal fights with staff and accused one of them of throwing down his medical file in full view of the other patients.

He said he had been collecting his medication from the clinic for the past seven years and had not encountered any problems before. However, at the beginning of this year he started having difficulty getting his treatment.

The 37-year-old unemployed father of three said whenever he ran out of his medication he would go the clinic and fetch it without having any problems.

He said at one time when he was seriously ill he went to the clinic to get the medication, but he was shocked when he was told that he should fetch it every second month.

He said he had to borrow money from the neighbours to buy medication from a pharmacy.

He said at that point he thought that it was maybe a once off thing that the clinic was doing, but he realised later on that the situation was not changing.

He he had been advised to contact the media with the hope that he might be assisted.

He said he has tried in vain to raise his concerns with the senior clinic staff but his efforts had been fruitless. He said asthma pumps cost R40 each and he could not afford to buy them every time.

“How will I afford to buy the medication if I’m not working? These people are denying us the right to live.

“Asthma is a deadly diseases. If one does not use the medication, the chances of dying are high. The attitude and behaviour of the staff at the clinic are total unacceptable,” he said.

Mr Morebodi was diagnosed with asthma in 1982 and has been living with the disease since then. When asked how long a pump usually lasted, he said it depended on how often he needed to use it.

He said he plans to file a complaint against the clinic.

Department of Health spokesperson, Sithembiso Magubane, said Mr Morebodi arrived at Michael Mapongwana Community Health Centre on Monday September 4, demanding an inhaler.

However, as prescribed according to the effective management of his medical condition, said Mr Magubane, Mr Morebodi receives one inhaler every second month.

“His file revealed that he had received the inhalers on the 10th of August, which was less than a month prior to his visit.

“The pharmacist explained and again provided training to Mr Morebodi on how to correctly use the pumps when it was dispensed to him in August,” he said.