Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has taken the Evuxakeni Psychiatric Hospital, in Giyani, Limpopo, under her wing to help improve and make it a centre of hope for the patients living there.
On Saturday, the minister led a clean-up campaign at the hospital, as part of Imbizo Focus Week and in honour and celebration of Nelson Mandela Day.
After a walkabout at the hospital, which caters for 270 patients with mental disabilities, Minister Muthambi announced that her department is adopting the health facility.
“Re-living the legacy and values of Madiba at a health facility, which caters for people with mental disabilities, is very touching for me. This facility needs to be revamped hence I felt that we need to adopt it as a Department of Communications.
“It is my g view that working together with the business sector and all the relevant stakeholders in our communities, we can turn this facility into a centre of hope,” she told SAnews.
Hospital CEO Tintswalo Mabunda said it was very important for the hospital to get support from the national government, adding that it encourages them to continue doing the good work going forward.
According to Mabunda, apart from working in a dilapidated structure, which caters for so many patients, they are seriously affected by the shortage of staff and lack of resources.
“Some of our big challenges include the shortage of staff. We have a vacancy rate of about 62%, as we currently have only 355 staff when we supposed to have 861.
“We also do not have enough service areas to rehabilitate our patients, as a result we just admit and control instead of rehabilitating patients.”
The hospital, which also lack resources such as computers, has very limited office space.
Mabunda said after briefing the minister about their current challenges, he was confident that they would be assisted.
Minister Muthambi, who will be leading another massive clean-up campaign in Malamulele, on Sunday, pledged to take the challenges facing the hospital to Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.
“I also want to thank workers at the hospital, who are still able to serve the vulnerable patients irrespective of their current circumstances. I’m pledging to take your challenges to my colleague, Minister Motsoaledi,” she said.
Minister Muthambi said the current administration ‘means business’ and will look into and provide solutions to the challenges facing the nation to keep Madiba’s values alive.
“As government, we are committed to change the lives of our people more especially in the rural areas, as the fifth democratic administration, it is time for us to provide solutions to the people’s challenges in order to keep the values of Madiba alive,” she said.
Greater Giyani Mayor Patrick Hlungwani also took part in the clean-up campaign in honour of Madiba. “We are here to clean and paint the hospital to commemorate the good work that has been done by our late President.”
Hlungwani also pledged that in the spirit of Mandela, his municipality will fix a huge crack in one of the hospital’s wards before the end of this year.
The minister’s visit to Giyani and tomorrow’s visit to Malamulele, in Limpopo, concludes the activities for Imbizo Focus Week. The focus week was launched, on 13 July, at Vhembe District Municipality.
A total of 48 events took place thus far during the Imbizo Focus Week with many focused around the Mandela Day clean-up campaigns.
Imbizo is a platform used by national, provincial and local executives to ensure constant engagement with communities.
Source : SAnews.gov.za