Patients under the Free Health Care Programme at Ward 1 of the Princess Christian Maternity Hospital in the East end of Freetown on Monday evening created an unfriendly atmosphere for not only the nurses but also their inmates and other visitors who had gone to sympathize with others in the hospital.
The nurse in charge of Ward 1 Madam Mariama Dugba and other patients who witnessed the unruly behaviour of the other patients explained to Awoko yesterday that the commotion flared up when the nurse on duty ordered that patients should share beds for them to be able to accommodate the influx of patients for free treatment.
The patient who was at that moment met and asked to accept her colleague on the same bed put up resistance on the excuse that her colleague’s son was badly infested; presumably because the child was tubed right through the nostrils.
At that moment the other patients who knew they were potential victims of the circumstance went on the rampage in objection to the idea. The whole ward was apparently very unhealthy with babies yelling in the midst of claps and shouting.
The nurses on duty could not contain the situation and had to request for the immediate intervention of security personnel deployed at the hospital.
While attempts were made to quell down the situation visitors who were in the ward and allegedly contributed to escalate the pandemonium were asked to leave to allow doctors and nurses to attend to patients. This also faced strong resistance as some of them said “they would not leave because nurses were not treating their loved ones properly”
After the visitors were successfully sent out of the ward the Assistant Matron Sister Mariatu Koroma decided that the orchestrators be discharged, especially Mariama Sillah, who allegedly refused to accommodate her colleague on the same bed and Mabinty Sankoh, whose relatives and friends allegedly caused commotion in the ward and further molested the nurses on duty.
Nurse Mariama Dugba disclosed to this press that “not all cases of sickness we accommodate on the same bed. Severe cases and burns are treated separately and we accommodate them on one bed each.” She explained that they introduced the two to a bed system due to unavailability of beds in the wards to host the growing number of patients coming for treatment. “At least patients need to show some level of understanding to enable us deal with the situation at hand”, she added.
The Assistant Matron Madam Mariatu Koroma registered her complete resentment over the attitude of patients to nurses. Because the health care programme is free is no reason for patients to demoralize the effort nurses are applying to actualize the project. She urged patients to desist from what she regarded as “an unfortunate behaviour” since it will not create a good relationship between them and the patients.
By Poindexter Sama