#JusticeforShoni: fix Thembisa Hospital and save lives
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We have lost Shonisani Lethole, our beloved son, our brother, uncle and friend. Shoni died at Thembisa Hospital, near Johannesburg in circumstances that are totally unacceptable.
He was allegedly put in a COVID-19 ward before his COVID test results were received. The family still do not have those results. There was a period of 48 hours during which he received no food, despite the family taking meals in. In the middle of winter he did not have blankets, and did not have access to a wheelchair to be able to use the bathroom.
Shoni did not receive the basic care that we all should expect at a public health facility. We want Lekopane Mogaladi, CEO of Thembisa Hospital, Bandile Masuku Gauteng Health MEC and Dr Zwelini Mkhize Minister of Health to:
1. Conduct an urgent investigation into the circumstances leading to Shoni’s death, provide a report and hold a meeting with the family by Tuesday 14th July 2020, and publish the same immediately after the family’s approval.*
2. Clearly identify any failings in the way he was treated at Thembisa Hospital and make recommendations as to changes to practices that need to be made
3. Commit to immediately implementing those recommendations, and in so doing save the lives of other people receiving care at Thembisa Hospital
4. Provide a report on the progress of implementing those recommendations to the family on the 30th July 2020
We want justice for Shoni and we do not want other families and friends to suffer our pain and loss. We do not yet know if he died of COVID-19 or related complications, but we are deeply concerned that there were failings in the care he received that may have contributed to his death. Changes need to be made in practices at Thembisa Hospital now.
In the face of this pandemic we need our doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals more than ever. They need the resources to manage this, but we also need transparency about procedures followed so that people can trust their healthcare system. That trust is only possible through transparency and accountability.
Follow the campaign on Twitter @JusticeForShoni
*Please note on the 6th July 2020, the date of the request for a meeting with the hospital, relevant health departments and the family, was updated from Wednesday 8th July, to Tuesday 14th July. This is because Shoni's funeral is now taking place on the 8th July.
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