Community members of Nhlazuke in Richmond in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands are demanding answers from the provincial health department.
They are accusing healthcare workers at the Mbuthisweni Clinic of dispensing expired TB and Antiretroviral medication.
Two families claim their loved ones died after using the alleged expired medication.
A third patient says it turned his skin white.
The Mkhize and the Mfeka families say they lost loved ones Khulani and Msindiswa respectively in 2017.
“My brother was taking chronic treatment that was supplied from the clinic. When he took this treatment it used to make him very sick but we used to encourage him to continue taking it because his life dependent on it. When I took a closer look at the medication, I realised that it had an expiry date. The medication he was taking was for TB, that medication was expired, some of them had expired in 2012, 2013 and 2011 and he was taking the treatment in 2017,” says Senzeni Mfeka, a family member.
Thulani Msimang reports on the story in the video below:
Gugu Mkhize lost her child due to the alleged expired medication.
“The first time he was well. When he returned to the clinic for the second batch that’s when my child became weak and I tried to help force him to take the medication and I did not realise the medication had expired. I called my daughter in-law for help because things were bad. When she came she asked to see the medication and my daughter-in-law asked me why are you feeding the child expired pills. That is when we realised what was happening,” says Mkhize.
Sibusiso Zuma blames expired ARVs for a change in his skin colour. He says he is traumatised and scared to socialise.
“I took it as they had explained it to me and I continued until the second stage when my problems started that turned me like this but I continued for at least two months, bed-ridden and I was later admitted in hospital where they gave me ointments to apply and my condition improved and I was discharged with instructions to continue treatment at the hospital. They said the cause of my condition was the medication I was taking. The doctor gave me the wrong dose. I want compensation because I am no longer able to live a normal life and be with people of the area. I am the same as a dead person. People are scared of me because I have this condition now. I now stay at home alone,” says Zuma.
The provincial Health Department has promised to investigate the matter. It has, however, appealed to all involved, not to make any conclusions until the matter is finalised.