SHOCKING video footage has surfaced showing nurses mistreating an elderly patient in Ward 55 of the Oshakati Intermediate hospital.
The health director for the Oshana Region, Johanna Haimene, has already arranged an urgent meeting with the hospital management to address the matter, and the relatives of the elderly Ndahafa Lourens have taken up the matter with their lawyers.
Lourens’ daughter, Lucia Ndahafa Bauleth, said that she visited her mother in the hospital on a regular basis and she always complained about being beaten by nurses.
“At one stage she even asked her grandson to smuggle her out of the hospital. To protest, she stopped eating hospital food. She only ate the food I brought her,” said Bauleth.
She said that the nurses’ reaction to her mother’s “hunger strike” was limited to saying that “she only eats food from people she likes”.
The video of the patient mistreatment was recorded by a fellow patient who was in the same ward where the 70-year-old Lourens was admitted on 15 March for complications related to high blood pressure.
In the video footage nurses could be heard repeatedly telling the patient to “swallow” and complaining that she allegedly spits out the medicine.
When one nurse slapped her, Lourens’ reaction was: “continue beating your kid”. She then demanded to be discharged to go and die at home.
Nurse: “Is your husband at home?”
Lourens: “No, he died in the Oshakati hospital.”
Nurse: “Then you must also die here.”
The video was recorded on 27 March and the relatives were informed about its existence, but the “videographer” – fearing retaliation – promised to release it only after being discharged.
She was discharged Tuesday and that same day released the video to the family.
“It was evening time when I saw the video and immediately went to the hospital because I could not sleep without confronting them,” said Bauleth.
She noted that a male ward matron informed her that he was aware of the allegations of mistreatment, but did nothing because there was no proof.
Bauleth said she was asked to submit a written complaint.
“I delegated my sister to draft the letter while I went to report the matter to the office of the Ombudsman. We are also now busy with our lawyers, not only because it was our mother, but because of other anonymous patients who are mistreated like her,” she said.
Health director Haimene said that she obtained the video Wednesday evening and she has already arranged to hold an urgent meeting with the hospital management on this issue. “Something will definitely be done, but it is too early now to say more than that,” she said.