Mavalane Health Center, in Maputo City, refuses to test community activists with Covid-19 symptoms, at a moment when the country has just received an additional 302,400 vaccines from pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson, out of a total of 2.64 million doses that the country expects to receive in the near future, under the global COVAX initiative.
The complaint was recently advanced by a group of activists who did not want to identify themselves for fearing reprisals.
“Some activists working in this health unit have not been tested the Covid-19, even though they have scheduled the consultation. Professionals mistreat the agents of the Basic Community Organizations (CBO)”, says the source, in a confidential conversation with the team of the Citizen Observatory for Health (OCS).
According to the same source, the staff of Mavalane Health Center refuse to test the activists for the sake of revenge, as activists have been criticizing the services offered by the team of this unit. The activists have also been watching professionals who make illegal charges to the user.
“When activists come forward for testing, professionals say there is no material to test, even in cases where activists set the date to be assisted. We know that this is an act of revenge, as activists carefully watch the work of the providers”, said source, lamenting the fact that many of her colleagues have not been tested yet.
Another problem that activists denounce is the lack of professionals to deal directly with the issue of Covid-19.
“Look at that”, says the source pointing to a lady handling a stethoscope, adding “there is only that lady to watch people with problems connected to Covid-19. One person will be able to assist so many people simultaneously?”
“Few days ago, we helped a user to gain access to the antiretroviral. For which reason we do not know, but the professional refused to give a second bottle of pills to the user. When we intervened, the professional passed the bottle to the patient, and then looked at us badly, with some anger. This is not a matter of lack of material to test, this is a matter of revenge” denounces a female source.
In fact, a single lady was at a distance next to a mobile cabin displaying emergency numbers from the Ministry of Health (MISAU), virus illustrations and writings of covid-19. She was the only one watching the users. The list of patients seeking to test Covid-19 is long. Nobody respects social distancing anymore, but mumbling.
“The queues are always long. The staff working in the testing is not enough, we should have many professionals assisting in testing process” says a male individual, who plays the role of supervisor in a CBO.
“Worst of all is to know that patients don’t even have a bathroom. They have not restroom for physiological needs. Have you ever seen a house without a bathroom?”, asks the supervisor, who only managed to take the Covid-19 test after several stubborn insistences.
Seeing themselves without a way out, many activists escape to other health units unrelated to their activities. In these alternative units, they end up being tested because they are unknown by health professionals.
“Many end up going to Albazine Health Center. There they are helped because they are unknown”, says the source, adding that “the test was denied to some activists who had strong symptoms of Covid-19. Many of these activists had already been in contact with other people, family, friends and colleagues.”
“I don’t know how far they want to go with all this”, the man laments.
The complaint of the activists comes at a time when the country records daily the death of at least 20 people by Covid-19 and the infection of at least 1,000.
This research, conducted by OCS at the Mavalane Health Center and Mavalane General Hospital, is part of a series of works of Monitoring the Sanitary Conditions and Services provided in Public Hospitals in this Pandemic Times.