Ver Angola


Doctors warn of "worsening" health situation in Luanda with pressure on emergency rooms

Doctors warned this Thursday for the "worsening of the health situation" in Luanda, which is already reflected in primary and tertiary hospitals, pointing to "malaria and diarrheal diseases" as the main pathologies in emergency rooms.

: Lusa

For health professionals, the rains and the huge piles of garbage that are registered in almost all parts of the capital are "contributing negatively to the deplorable" health situation, whose pressure is reflected in the health units.

The president of the National Union of Doctors of Angola (Sinmea), Adriano Manuel, laments the situation and even speaks of "more than 20 daily deaths from malaria" in Luanda hospitals, considering that the current situation "is complicated and the authorities have not lacked warning.

"We are currently living an extremely complicated situation, if we take into account that there was no lack of warning to the Government of Angola, particularly me, that in this rainy period we have had many floods in hospitals," the doctor told Lusa.

Adriano Manuel also believes that the current situation is a result of "some imprudence" on the part of the Government of Luanda "in not treating the garbage issue with the responsibility that was necessary.

"Since the marriage of the garbage with the rain should result in the floods that we are observing today with 80 percent of the patients with malaria, diarrhea and gastro enteritis, typhoid or dengue fever," he said.

The pediatrician noted that "70 percent to 80 percent of the patients being operated on in the medical emergency rooms are for ulcer perforation as a result of typhoid fever," which had already been "warned".

"People didn't listen to what doctors have been addressing in their own forums and in the media, and now we are watching," he noted.

The concern of a "health crisis" in Luanda, especially as a result of the rains and garbage, has been expressed previously by several citizens of the capital, who for months "feared for the worst."

Through social networks, several images depict flooding in hospital emergency rooms, especially in tertiary units, including patients lying on the floor and others clamoring for assistance.

The president of Sinmea assured that this picture "is real" and explains that a large part of the patients go to tertiary hospitals due to the "shortage of medicines" in primary hospitals.

"We are living a serious situation and if the Government does not look at this scenario in the near future we will have an unsustainable situation with cholera," he warned.

The "shortage" of professionals, especially in the peripheral hospitals, "where there are practically no doctors and the only one on duty sees more than 200 patients," was also pointed out as a problem that ails the sector.

"It is not possible to do health this way, there is not, in my perspective, a commitment from the Government of Angola with the health issue, because the Government is more concerned with building big hospitals," he pointed out.

The "problem," insisted Adriano Manuel, "is not building big hospitals, but having an efficient primary health care system that does not exist, because people do not want it to exist.

The "pressure" at the level of Luanda's hospital units was also confirmed by the coordinator of the Forum for Social Conciliation of the Health Sector (FCSSS), Francisco Matete, considering that this scenario "was already predictable.

"Mainly due to the degraded sanitation of the environment, aggravated by the rains and the piles of garbage, at the level of all the hospitals it is known that there are floods of patients that come to the units mainly with malaria," he told Lusa.

For the doctor Francisco Matete the current demand in hospital emergency rooms in Luanda "is overloading the few human resources", but that "always try to respond to pressure", lamenting the "weak labor conditions and shortage of drugs".

"I believe that after May the cases will decrease and as there is already garbage collection I believe that the cases will decrease," he stressed.

"But the truth is that there are many floods especially in the outskirts and municipalities," pointed out FCSSS coordinator.

Lusa sought to obtain comments on the subject from the Ministry of Health, but this has not yet been possible.