UTH sends critical cancer patient home

The University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka ; Doctor ; Medicine ; UTH
The University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka ; Doctor ; Medicine ; UTH

THE University Teaching Hospital has told the bedridden cervical cancer patient seeking B+ blood donation to go back home and return in February for treatment, because she is on a long list of other appointments.

Situmbeko Mukongolwa, 45, a resident of Kitwe’s Chimwemwe township, was last week referred to the Cancer Diseases Hospital under UTH in Lusaka after she was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer.

But after examining her, the hospital discovered that Mukongolwa needed blood transfusion before she could undergo cancer treatment, but the institution did not have her blood type.
This forced the family to appeal to the general public for people with B+ blood to donate to their bedridden patient.

On Wednesday, three blood donors responded to the appeal and donated the required blood for Mukondolwa to start receiving treatment.

However, after the transfusion, the hospital told the family that Mukongolwa could not start her treatment because there was a long list of patients waiting to access cancer treatment.

“It is really sad to understand the operations at UTH here. The condition of this patient is very critical but we have been told to bring her next year, 2016, on February 2, to start treatment. We tried to negotiate considering her condition but they couldn’t give us an audience. The only thing they said was that they follow appointments and that our appointment date is on February 2, 2016,” said Mukongolwa’s sister, Mwiza Siyauya.

But UTH public relations manager Mwenya Mulenga said depending on Mukongolwa’s condition, she could be taken back to the hospital and be treated as an emergency.

“If she is unwell, let them take her to the hospital and she will be treated as an emergency. They are free to come and they will be treated as an emergency. So, let her be brought to the hospital and they should ensure that they bring all the cards and documents so that her case can be filed so that the doctors can know where to start from,” said Mulenga.

“There are cases where if they feel someone cannot manage to meet the appointment date due to the condition, they can bring the person back to the hospital and they will be attended to.”

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