We help victims of public sector strike

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

Sowetan stepped in to save two desperately ill victims of the public service strike.

Alice Mokgatle, a diabetic, feared she might succumb to her condition because no healthcare workers were available to dispense the medicine she needs every day. Mokgatle had no money to buy insulin from a chemist, and feared she would become yet another statistic in the list of casualties caused by the stayaway of essential workers.

Equally distressed was her 12-year-old granddaughter, Kamogelo, a heart patient, who faced a similar fate.

Sowetan took them to the private Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, where they were treated in the casualty department.

Kamogelo must undergo quarterly checkups at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital. She gets an injection for her condition each month from the Meadowlands Clinic.

"When we arrived at the clinic there was no one to help us. We left after sitting there for four hours", said Mokgatle.

"I cannot afford to buy medicine," said Mokgatle.

The medical staff at Milpark told Mokgatle that her blood-sugar level was too high and that she needed immediate medical attention.

Both could have died without their medicine.

"I just want all this striking to come to an end," said Mokgatle.

Left untreated, severe diabetes leads to a loss of sensation in the hands and feet, kidney failure and blindness, then death.

Kamogelo has had heart problems since she was five.

"She was diagnosed with heart disease and has been receiving medication to manage the condition," said her mother, Nkele Vilakazi.

A thankful Vilakazi said she would not have known how to help Kamogelo if she had developed complications without the monthly injection that keeps her alive.

"I thank Sowetan for saving my daughter's life," said Vilakazi.