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  • Writer's pictureAnnieHartley

Day 12-13 (Wednesday+Thursday) - doorsdoorsdoorsdoors

Updated: May 13, 2021

Six doors for two rooms....perhaps the original builders had run out of bricks and were filling in the gaps...?...or, more likely, someone's friend-of-a-friend in government was a well-connected door salesman...🙄

Regardless, I am thrilled that the 4 supplementary doors are now permanently boarded up and, with immediate effect, the constant stream of random people passing through our consultation rooms (and sometimes just taking a seat and making themselves at home) has ended!

These ex-doors will be painted by the night crew tonight 🌪

We also installed a sink in one of the consultation rooms. Rumour quickly spread about this fully functioning tap in the department. A procession of staff then visited the tap to verify its existence and pay homage. you can see, we are guilty of making a few quick fixes in the interest of time and money... (RE: the pipes coming out of their original holes in the walls and then rerouted to the sink in a shameless display of pragmatism).

DIY suggestions welcome on how we could hide those pipes without digging into the wall...💡

Other updates are more subtle: for instance, the window and door frames are now painted a beautiful light grey.

....And who is this person sitting inside of our emergency room? a patient? a relative? a tired person looking for a place to sit? Totally unknown as there is NO triage system to guide, assess and prioritise patients at the door.

Now that the new triage room is almost ready to activate, we are formally planning the triage workflow. We hope to have this implemented with trained staff by the end of the month.

Anyway, if this person was in the wrong place, it is certainly not her fault, as, after all, there are NO signs in the entire hospital to indicate that this is an emergency room.

I am thrilled that today will be the LAST day of this ridiculous issue. Tomorrow the Me Graphix team will be installing our new is a sneak peek 😍:

The day ended on a very happy note. We all gathered to watch one of our critical patients being choppered out from our bald patch of grass that functions as a helipad to the referral hospital in Mbombela.

Referring patients by road usually takes several hours and getting approval for urgent referral is very tricky.

Indeed, getting approval for any referral can be tricky without clear evidence that would compel the transfer, but without diagnostic support to get this evidence, our arguments are often not compelling enough. Most of our day is spent on WhatsApp, fighting for our patients' right to a higher level of care. The delays can be significant and this is why we need better diagnostic support to advocate for our patients with objective evidence and manage them while they wait for the bureaucracy to take its course. We need continuous patient monitors, an ultrasound machine an examination light and procedure bed...fingers crossed that we can get support for these fundamental tools.

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Melanie Hartley
Melanie Hartley
May 07, 2021

How refreshing to see all this amazing work being done. For so long the poorest of the poor have suffered as they dont receive the care that they deserve. How cruel it is to see people stripped of their dignity...the frantic concern of loved ones as they enter these there is hope.. now in these dark times there is a bright light shining ..thanks so


May 07, 2021

Annie, you are doing a social job, your work is most needed and thankfully you have taken on a difficult task..

thanks sooooooo much

godfrey ( Tshemba)

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