Kidney patients in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde yesterday blocked the entrance to the town’s University Teaching Hospital.
The act, they said, was in protest of the lack of dialysis kits for close to two weeks.
They also disrupted traffic along the road next to the health facility.
“If we can’t get dialysis, then others should feel the discomfort we are feeling too,” one of the patients told reporters.
According to the patients, they had raised worries over their health due to the lack of kits but were assured that same day by the hospital director that they would have the kits in under an hour.
“We have been here since 10:00AM. He said the kits would be here in an hour’s time and we have been waiting. We are not even sure they would come today because he is always saying that. He said noon and that was long ago, yet there are no kits,” one of the patients told The Guardian Post.
“We want a solution that will be lasting because we have been doing this and when we do, they bring the kits and for the next three months leave is hanging. At times it doesnt even stay for up to a month,” she explained further, adding that the authorities “… do nothing. They just sit there. It is only when we protest that they act”.
In addition to the lack of kits, the patients said another challenge they continue to face is that of worn out machines.
The Yaoundé University Teaching Hospital dialysis machines, she said, “… have been here for like 16 years and are no longer functioning properly. They have been tied with ropes. There are times you are dialysing and the rope cuts and your blood starts coagulating. That is very harmful to us”.
“If you see the beds that we sleep on, you have an apartment, you leave your house and comfortable bed and because you are sick. You come and sleep on a bed that maybe someone has just died on and they are forcing you to lie on it,” she explained further.
The patients’ protest was brought to an end by a heavy downpour.
Sources at the institution reportedly hinted that the dialysis kits supplier had suspended supplies to the facility demanding that he be paid overdue debts.
Yesterday’s protest was one of many by kidney patients. Despite their several protests, the changes they face remain numerous and often go neglected by the government.
Mimi Mefo Info