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Deworming chaos eases at hospital

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By ZWELIHLE SUKATI - SWAZI TIMES-28-Sep-2009

MBABANE – No pupil was treated at the Mbabane Government Hospital over the weekend for having taken bilharzia and deworming tablets.

Those who had fallen ill after taking deworming and bilharzia tablets at their respective schools were treated and discharged. This is according to nurses who were found at the Mbabane Government Hospital. On Thursday, nurses speaking to this publication after 22 MDS pupils were admitted to the hospital, raised concerns that others could develop similar complications later at their homes or during the night.

A total of 400 Motshane Primary School pupils had to be rushed to the Mbabane Government Hospital after taking both bilharzia and deworming drugs. Acting Director of Health Dr. Vusi Mgagaula could not be drawn to respond as to whether it was proper to have the pupils take both drugs on the very same day due to the fact that one ought to be taken on an empty stomach whilst while the other drugs had to be taken after eating.

It is also believed that the prescription of bilharzia tablets based on height was wrong as this was supposed to be based on their weight. “The minister or principal secretary would have to sanction me to comment on that otherwise, for now, I can only comment that this was supposed to be a one day exercise. However, investigations into the root cause of the problems are still continuing,” said Dr. Magagula.

Minister of Health Benedict Xaba could not be reached when sought numerous times for comment on the matter as his mobile phone rang answered each time he was called. Our sister publication, the Swazi News, quoted the minister as saying: “I am worried that the pupils could in future be suspicious of any medication given to them”.


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