-Demand Water And Electricity
By Esau J. Farr
Dozens of patients at the Tuberculosis Annex (TB Annex) in Congo Town Monday, November 19, 2018 staged a peaceful protest at the Ministry of Health in demand of electricity and water for their unit.
The protesting patients told FARBRIC News that they were constrained to stage the peaceful march in front of the Ministry of Health to draw the attention of government and concerned authorities about their plights.
The Spokesman for the patients, Jersey Mills is quoted by FARBRIC Radio as saying that the TB Unit of the Ministry of Health has been without electricity for the past six months.
According to Mr. Mills, the leadership of the concerned patients has tried on several occasions to raise their concerns with authorities of the Health Ministry, but all in empty promises and vain.
“We have been raising these concerns with authorities of the Ministry of Health, but all they have done is to promise us and all of the promises have ended up in vain,” Mr. Mills said.
He further said the lack of electricity and water both of which he described as necessity of life has caused serious health problems for them (patients).
He alleged that as a result of the lack of these basic necessities of life, their health conditions have further deteriorated beyond human imagination.
Mr. Mills said as patients, they have been made to go without taking showers for days while they are also made to survive at the mercy of God as they manage to navigate their way in black and darkness.
Mr. Mills alleged that due to the lack of electricity, one of their colleagues (male patient) died over the weekend in the TB Unit of the Ministry of Health, something that is believed to have fueled the peaceful protest.
“Let me just tell you that one of our friends died here about two days ago due to the lack of electricity and he was under Oxygen,” Mills narrated.
According to him, nurses use their bare hands to do the medical and temperature checks of patients something they as patients say is not safe for both patients and the health workers and therefore demanded immediate intervention.
Mr. Mills put the number of TB patients in the TB Unit of the Health Ministry at between 600 and 700.
The protest is said to have yielded result when a Junior Minister from the Ministry of Health stepped out and received the position statement from the protesting patients.
They quoted the Minister as telling them to be calmed as the situation was expected to be put under control.
The Ministry of Health is one of the ministries or agencies of government that its operations had been marred by series of protests mainly from health workers, but strangely, this is coming from patients.