Goodbye 2017 and all your troubles, and problems. Welcome 2018 and hoping that this is the year that, as a people, we will prosper in all spheres of life.
I had my good share of sad and happy moments in 2017 and as I look back, I know for sure that some of those sad moments shouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for some careful handling of things.
It has been really hard for me to even talk about the loss of my dear aunt Colless Phangula, who died last month from an injury she sustained after a bull attacked her in the village.
The story from my mother, who was with her through out the ordeal, is that after my aunt was attacked by the bull and sustained a wound that needed stitching, the medical personnel at Madede Health Centre forgot to administer TTV (tetanus vaccine). Weeks later, my aunt developed Tetanus and it was too late to treat her. She died.
In the almost 12 hours drive home to bury her, the thought that she could have lived only if someone took extra care and remembered to administer TTV, kept nudging me and it still does to this day. I must be honest, I have not accepted her death as “the will of God”.
What is more heartbreaking is that despite the usual stories of drug shortages in most public health facilities, there was plenty of TTV at the health center only that for whatever reasons, it did not occur to the health care giver to give her a TTV jab, on time, I must add, because the time he tried to administer it, it was too late as my aunt had already developed full blown tetanus.
Over the Christmas festivities, I went back home, it wasn’t the same home without her. She was a good woman, hardworking and very smart. She never tolerated nonsense, and she loved us like her children. I saw the brokenness in my mother’s eyes and I knew she had been robbed of a true friend confidant.
There are many cases such as my aunt’s where people have lost lives due to negligence while in the hospital. Many of such cases never get to be reported because they involve people who are poor. Again, because many people quickly accept death as “the will of God”.
Stories of how a death could have been prevented are always buried with the dead—never told and never spoken about. It has taken me close to a month to gather courage to talk about how I feel about my aunt’s death. She should not have died. She could have been cured if only extra care was taken.
This is why, I say Hamba 2017 and Woza 2018. I am hoping that in 2018, we will be extra careful when handling things be it at work, business places and even at home. There are certain accidents that can be averted and avoided.
It is my hope, too, that those whose calling is to look after the sick, do so with love and compassion.