Mozambique Covid-19: 16 new cases and a further three deaths reported on Monday - AIM
in file CoM
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread across Mozambique, having already infected 32,781 people – 363 of them notified on Monday. At the same time, the disease has caused more deaths (319, with 14 again notified on Monday), and the number of hospitalisations increasing to 225.
However, more than 64% of patients have recovered from the disease, buoying hopes among those still infected. This Monday, for example, the Ministry of Health (MISAU) announced a further 453 recoveries, bringing the cumulative total since the start of the outbreak to 21,011.
At a time when messages of hope must prevail over those of terror popular on social networks since the worsening of the situation, ‘Carta’ talked to three citizens who have recovered from the disease. All were admitted to the Polana Caniço Hospital, the centre of excellence for the treatment of Covid-19 in the country.
“The doctors at this hospital [Polana Caniço] were true heroes” – Naldo Chivite
The 41-year-old journalist and social activist, Naldo Chivite, was hospitalised at Polana Caniço for a month, recalling it as a “painful period”, with “a lot of distress” on account of his critical medical condition.
“I arrived at [Maputo] Central Hospital [private] clinic in a very critical state. I had a severe respiratory condition, because I delayed going to hospital. I was immediately transferred to Polana Caniço, where I was hospitalized for almost a month. It was a time of terror and suffering – I even thought that I would not get out alive. The doctors there were true heroes; they do everything they can to save lives,” Chivite said.
Inevitably, Chivite says he watched inpatients lose their lives almost every day. “During my time in hospital, I saw many people lose their lives – women, young people, adults. Some lost their lives because the disease attacks the lungs and it takes a long time to recover, others lose their lives because, often, when the health personnel were not around, they removed their oxygen masks because they could keep them on for a long time,” he explained.
Asked about the responsiveness of the health system, Chivite said that the sector needs more qualified medical personnel, since each patient needs monitoring, and many arrive at health facilities in critical condition.
“There is also a need to increase the equipment levels at the hospital – I got the impression that it was in short supply,” he added.
“Going to Polana Caniço was the best and most glorious option” – Lourenço Mimbir
Lourenço Mimbir is another patient who recovered from Covid-19. He was first admitted to the intensive care unit at Polana Caniço. He says he first went to the Heart Institute (ICOR) with severe respiratory complications and, after three hours of medical observation, was transferred to the Central Hospital of Maputo (HCM) for two days, before being taken to Polana Caniço.
“Going to Polana Caniço was the best result, because it was there that I received the best care. I was saved in that hospital. I believe that if I had stayed at the Maputo Central Hospital, I would not have come out alive. The nursing care there is terrible. On the first day, I ran out of oxygen and asked for help for many hours, but I didn’t get immediate support, which made my situation worsen. Whenever I asked for oxygen, the nurses told me to ‘just wait’,” Lourenço said.
At Polana Caniço, where he was hospitalised for about 10 days, Mimbir received much better care than at the largest hospital in the country (HCM), especially because [at Polana Caniço] “oxygen is piped, and there is not as much dependency”.
“If you can avoid hospital, do it, because it is not nice. The medication is not good, and the worst thing is that you have no-one to accompany you – you have no communication with the outside world,” Mimbir described, with great emotion.
Lourenço Mimbir admits that he initially wanted to be hospitalised at ICOR, but the [private] health unit demanded an upfront deposit of half a million (500,000.00) meticais to admit him.
“Those were the worst days of my life” – Amarildo
Thirty-nine-year-old Amarildo also gives witness to mistreatment at the hands of the nurses in Maputo Central Hospital. “Those were the worst days of of my life,” he says.
“First [before being transferred to Polana Caniço], I was at the Maputo Central Hospital for three days. During that time, I learned at first hand the bad side of the nurses there. During the night, patients [were] screaming all over the place, but the nurses didn’t care. Some patients ended up losing their lives due to lack of timely care,” Amarildo recounts.
In fact, when it came time for him to be transferred to Polana Caniço, Amarildo panicked, thinking his oxygen would be taken away, but the ambulances was equipped with oxygen.
“In Polana Caniço, the industry of the medical staff was amazing – large numbers of patients were arrived all the time. At one point, the doctors prescribed a certain medication, but they forgot to write it in the file and the nurses refused to give it to the patient. The doctors were also attending to multiple patients, and when they interrupted treatment to see other cases, they did not return to the previous patient, a scenario that delayed my recovery. But the most worrying thing is the lack of communication between staff and patients,” he says.
By Marta Afonso