E-Cape health dept seeks 18 TB patients

Monday, June 29, 2009

Port Elizabeth - The Eastern Cape Health Department has dispatched officials to round up 18 tuberculosis (TB) patients, who urgently need to continue with their treatment in hospital.

Department spokesperson, Sizwe Kupelo, said 21 patients, all of them drug-resistant, left the Jose Pearson TB Hospital on Friday afternoon, following a weather-related power failure in that part of the city.

Though the hospital's emergency generator had kicked in, it was only able to supply critical areas of the hospital with power. The patients protested, demanding to be discharged immediately.

"Unfortunately, as management was trying to explain the situation they demanded to be discharged, saying they cannot remain in the dark," Mr Kupelo said.

Mr Kupelo said three of the 21 patients returned to the hospital on Monday morning.

He appealed to the patients to go back to the hospital. "It's not acceptable for them to continue to put the lives of their relatives at risk," he said.