Strikers make wild claims about hospital deaths

Strikers make wild claims about hospital deaths
Strikers make wild claims about hospital deaths

Africa-Press – Mozambique. The Mozambican Association of United Health Professionals (APSUSM) has made the extraordinary claim that, because of its three week old strike, “almost 1,000” people have died in the country’s health units.

At a Monday press conference in Maputo, APSUSM chairperson, Anselmo Muchave, said “because of a lack of care in our health units, there have been almost 1,000 deaths”.

But he refused to say in which provinces and in which hospitals these deaths have occurred. Furthermore, if hundreds of patients more than normal are dying every week, one would expect a great increase in the number of funerals, and there would be signs of a large number of grieving families. But nothing of the sort can be seen.

Muchave also claimed that “over 95 per cent” of the population have no access to basic care, even to paracetamol.

But while it is true that some drugs are in short supply, paracetamol is not one of them.

The Health Ministry has repeatedly denied that it is running out of basic drugs, and in the first week of the strike, Health Minister Armindo Tiago denied an earlier APSUSM claim of huge number of hospital deaths.

Yet Muchave’s claims are uncritically repeated in much of the Mozambican media.

Muchave said that, despite the strike. APSUSM is continuing its negotiations with the government. He claimed that on Sunday, when the negotiators were about to conclude agreements, there was “an impasse”, but he refused to give any details about this deadlock.

Among APSUSM’s recent allegations is that there is a shortage of fuel to transport patients from one health unit to another, and shortages of gloves and medical alcohol.

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