Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Living in a cardboard box: Bara's babies rough it while our Health Dept. splurges


I can't say I'm often provoked to tears of fury but when I saw this picture ( Photo: Jennifer Bruce, The Star) of these three little bobkins, only hours old, I opened all faucets. These babies are in a box - a scruffy old cardboard BOX - because the maternity ward at Soweto's Baragwanath Hospital - one of the the world's biggest hospitals - doesn't have enough money to buy cots for them. Read the full story in The Star, and have a little weep of your own.

This picture enrages on me on so many levels that I don't know where to start. If you're unfamiliar with South African current affairs, you could have a look at reports about the recent sacking of our Deputy Health Minister (Nosiswe Madlala-Routledge was recently sacked for, it is claimed, highlighting the shocking conditions and high infant mortality rate at another of South Africa's hospitals). Or you can read about the shameful shenanigans of our Minister of Health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

Or you can melt your brain circuits trying to process the news that the self-same health department that should be providing cots for these infants has just merrily blown R380 000 ($54,000, according to the BBC) of tax-payers' money placing prominent adverts in local papers. These adverts, written by officials of the health department, defend the health minister and launch a long-winded, whining attack on a recent high court judgment involving the minister. (Full story here).

Or, like me, you can just shed a bucket of tears. All I can say to these little souls is - hell, from now on, you can only move up in life. To infinity, and beyond!

Here's some reaction to the story, which is largely heartening, apart from the predictable statement from the Gauteng health department's chief of operations Dr Abul Rahman: "I am declining to give any statement until we finish the investigation."

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7 comments:

meggie said...

Rotten fuckers.
There will always be pigs at the trough, at the cost of the poor.
Feel free to delete this, if it offends, but sometimes 'language' seems necessary!

Juno said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juno said...

It doesn't offend, at all. What offends me are the fuckers at the trough. They are the ones who should be deleted. Thanks Meggie.

Audrey said...

Words fail me.

Muriel said...

And this is to say nothing of the obscene amounts of money our government departments are spending on travel and 'entertainment' -- the stuff in those troughs is champagne!

angel said...

i am so immensely angry with our health department and its crap- its so not funny anymore!

kyllikki said...

Very very sad!