Tuberculosis

29 June 2009

18 TB patients on run in EC

Officials have been sent to round up 18 tuberculosis patients who absconded from a Port Elizabeth hospital, the Eastern Cape health department said on Monday.

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Officials have been sent to round up 18 tuberculosis patients who absconded from a Port Elizabeth hospital, the Eastern Cape health department said on Monday.

Spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said a total of 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 able to supply only "critical areas" of the hospital. The patients protested immediately, he said.

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

’Unfair to expose relatives’
He said three of the 21 returned to the hospital on Monday morning. The department had sent officials to find the others, who all lived in Port Elizabeth.

Kupelo appealed to them 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. – (Sapa, June 2009)

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