‘Asthma’ nurse back in saddle

A year-and-a-half after failing to properly treat a patient who eventually died on the pavement outside an East London clinic, a nurse is back at work.

Tandazwa Mbalo, 31, died outside the Ndende clinic in Duncan Village amid an asthma attack in August 2015. Her mother, Ntombizabantu Bantu, had tried to carry her ailing daughter on her back after nurses would not release a wheelchair.

Tandazwa Mbalo, 31, died on the pavement outside the Ndende clinic in Duncan Village amid an asthma attack in August 2015.

Mbalo allegedly died minutes after being told to go home by nurses who wanted to close for the day.

At the time, Bantu said: “They gave her an oxygen mask, an injection and six tablets that she swallowed on the spot. Then they told us to go home.”

Speaking to the Daily Dispatch yesterday, provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the nurse had been moved to another health facility.

“Her suspension is over and she has been moved to work at another clinic.

“She was suspended for six months and during that suspension she fell ill to the point that she was even admitted to ICU,” he said.

The nurse had not been back at work since the incident happened in August 2015.

Kupelo said she returned to work in February.

According to Kupelo, the department of health was still having problems with the attitude of some of their nurses.

“It is an ongoing exercise and battle to try and change people’s attitudes.

“We condemn this sort of behaviour and we continue to promote Batho Pele [People First].

“In this case, the problem is that protocol was not followed.

“Primary healthcare is the most basic level of care in the various levels,” he said.

“What should have happened was that if the nurses saw the patient needed to get to the next level they should have called an ambulance and referred the patient to the next level of healthcare.”

Kupelo went on to say the department of health had a problem with people who saw nursing as nothing more than a job in a climate of high unemployment.

“Some people are not in nursing because they have a passion to help people.

“Now we want to get our staff to go back to the principles of people like Cecilia Makiwane and Florence Nightingale,” he added.


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