Sbrana death toll increases

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  • Number of deaths at the hospital 12 since 2013
  • 2 deaths recorded last month

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Alfred Madigele has revealed that the total number of deaths  recorded at the Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital has this year increased to a total number of 12 since 2013.

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The psychiatric hospital was established in 2010 after being converted from Lobatse

mental clinic. It is one of the most modern psychiatric hospitals in Africa that also functions as a teaching hospital for the clinical rotation of medical students.

However over the years, security concerns have been raised about the  number of deaths at the institution. Answering to Maun West Member of Parliament Tawana Moremi’s questions last week in Parliament on the number and cause of deaths at Sbrana, Madigele revealed that this year’s number of deaths has exceeded those from 2015, 2016, 2017, albeit it by a single death.

“We experienced 12 deaths at Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital during the last five years: 2013 – 5 deaths,  2014 – 3 deaths,  2015 – 1 death, 2016– 0, 2017 – 1, 2018 – 2 deaths,” Madigele told the legislators, adding that some deaths were a result of suicide and natural deaths.

“Of these 12 deaths: seven were of natural causes; three were of unnatural causes (two committed suicide hanging and one from head injuries). The other two deaths are recent (both occurred in October 2018) and we are awaiting postmortem results,” said the Minister of Health.

He  said his ministry was in the process of beefing up security at the  psychiatric hospital in a bid to limit future deaths.

“My ministry is in the process of installing CCTV cameras to monitor Psychiatric Wards. It has to be noted that the two suicide deaths from hanging  occurred in the bathrooms, so we have since increased supervision of patients during bathing and removed shower rods, front doors and other

objects like cloth-hangers from the bath rooms,” he concluded.

Last month a Kenyan doctor Namendwa Kuboka Leech, who was working at Sbrana was fired with immediate effect after being found guilty of sexually harassing and abusing patients.