12-year-old boy nearly lost his life during violent protest

A young boy nearly lost his life during a violent protest in Mbizana, Eastern Cape, because ambulances were unable to get to his location.

Due to blocked roads, the 12-year-old boy from Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home village of Mbhongweni, whose body was swollen and he was vomiting blood, could not be taken to the closest hospital.

A spokesman for the Eastern Cape MEC for health, Mkhululi Ndamase, stated on Wednesday that the protest has had an impact on six facilities.

“Six healthcare facilities are operating with skeleton staff as some workers could not get to work because of a community protest that has blocked roads in Mbizana,” said Ndamase.

The affected facilities include Meje CHC, Daliwonga Clinic, Mpentsheni Clinic, Mandengane Clinic, Khanyayo Clinic, and the Baleni Clinic.

Only nurses who reside in the nurses’ residence and are close to the facilities were permitted to report for duty, according to Ndamase.

“Community members in need of medical attention and ambulances also cannot get to the six facilities because of the blocked roads in the Mbhongweni and Meje areas,” he said.

“The road blockade has endangered lives and lowered the quality of services.”

The right to protest must not infringe on others

Nomakhosazana Meth, the MEC for health, has denounced the road closures.

“We acknowledge that people have the right to protest, but when they do, they must not infringe on other people’s rights,” said Meth.

Meth provided an update on the boy’s health, stating that a helicopter from emergency management services has been scheduled to transport him.

She explained: “Because of the protest, an ambulance cannot transport a 12-year-old who is vomiting blood and whose entire body is swollen to the next level of care.”

The boy was admitted to the Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Hospital in Mbizana on Wednesday afternoon, according to the department, and he is now receiving the care he needs.

The motive behind the ongoing protest remains unknown.

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