Dec 9, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Profoundly disabled left without care in KZN facility amid funding crisis

Workers who care for 84 severely disabled people at Durban and Coastal Mental Health’s Jona Vaughan residential facility in Amanzimtoti did not come to work Thursday morning to protest the fact that they have not been paid since September.

< Parents' association Charmaine Maas, treasurer of the KZN, told TimesLIVE that the association was trying to recruit volunteers to help with cooking and caring for the residents in order to avoid a "complete disaster".

“There was no bathing, no breakfast and diapers were not changed. The residents were left alone when the night shift staff left.

“Our residents are severely disabled … they ingest liquid food and need to be physically lifted,” she said.

” I have written to the CEO several times about this looming crisis. Yesterday I was accused of being racist. ”

The no-shows this morning include nurses, cleaners and kitchen staff.

Maas said the 42 employees worked day and night shifts and she had no idea whether the night shift workers would come to work later.

They hadn’t paid their October wages and had a total of around 174,000 ren.

There were indications that she wasn’t paying for November

Maas said in May last year that the service provider (who employed her) left because DCMH had not been paid.

Since then, DCMH had paid their salaries, claimed but now that this money came from subsidies from the Ministry of Health.

Maas said the DCMH management had now claimed that the department had not paid the subsidies.

She understood that this was due to “concerns about mismanagement of funds”.

DCMH -Chairman Sthandiwe Mkhize said: “I have contacted the department about renewed service level agreements. I am still waiting for an answer. Almost 50% of Jona Vaughan’s service users have been abandoned by their families. You have nowhere to go. Without the financial support from the department, it will be an impossible task to take care of the residents of DCMH.

“We have done everything in our power to meet the conditions of our service users but the lack of funding is currently worsening the situation. ”TimesLIVE previously reported on a report prepared by an investigation team deployed by the provincial Ministry of Health that found the board of directors of DCMH at its admission “Caught” in 2019 and “brought to his knees” under the presidency of a disqualified attorney, Sipho Shezi, and ran into debt of more than 18 million in just two years, some appointed under questionable circumstances.

It warned of an impending Life Esidimeni crisis and recommended:

  • urgently to place the NPO under the supervision of an administrator;
  • the board of directors is dissolved;
  • senior officials who Appointed under Shezi’s supervision must be disciplined d;
  • Criminal charges will be brought against them and other board members; and
  • Steps will be taken to get back any wasted money.

Shezi has denied any wrongdoing. He says DCMH was already in a tight financial position when it became involved, and things got worse after he left in March this year.

The department has repeatedly failed to respond to inquiries about the status of this report and responded to the action. the department intends.

Regarding the questions posted on Thursday about non-payment of employees at Jona Vaughan, spokeswoman Agiza Hlongwane said he would respond as soon as possible.

Events are this week just the latest in a list of problems faced by those using DCMH facilities.

Earlier this year, residents of the Sherwood Residential Center were reported to starve after a service provider left the premises and the Kitchen allegedly for non-payment.

A shortage of carers left some in urine-soaked sheets.

This month, a resident of the Phoenix dormitory died on charges of old, previously donated groceries were given for dinner because there was nothing else e.

Internal reports showed that several people became ill after receiving the food.

In a letter from the cook in isiZulu he apologized stood up for what had happened and said, “We gave the children (residents) food that was five days after the expiration date, but which I felt was not really spoiled.”

< He said at the time: “The way it is now, there is no food available and I don't know what to do. Yesterday and the day before yesterday there wasn't enough to eat either, although I asked for it. We didn't even get the monthly delivery from Maas. I really don't know what to do. I'm the one who keeps saying there is no food. ”