South African authorities have ordered an investigation into a hospital after a video emerged showing maggots crawling in the mouth of a patient who later died.
Azaad Ebrahim posted the video to Facebook last week, saying it showed his father Sadick at the RK Khan Hospital in Chatsworth, South Africa.
- Scroll down to the bottom of this article to see the video. WARNING: Some people may find the images disturbing.
The video shows a man lying on a bed when a hand enters the frame and pulls up the man’s upper lip, revealing what appear to be dozens of maggots in his mouth.
“Over a week has passed and I am still traumatized by the sight of maggots in my living father’s mouth,” Ebrahim wrote.
Ebrahim claimed to have seen “hundreds or thousands” of maggots in his 52-year-old father and said he asked nurses for help removing them, only for them to give him “toilet paper and stuff to clean my dad by myself.”
The KwaZulu-Natal province’s health department, which oversees the hospital, initially responded by saying that Ebrahim violated his father’s “inherent right to privacy and dignity” by posting video of him while he was in the hospital, according to South African news agency News24.
The department later said in a statement that an “urgent and thorough investigation” into the matter had been ordered by Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, the KwaZulu-Natal health minister.
“We are quite shocked by the state of the patient (when the video was taken) before he demised,” Simelane-Zulu said in the statement.
“We really don’t understand how things could have got to this level.”
According to the statement, Sadick Ebrahim was admitted to the hospital June 19 – four days before his son recorded the video – and later died. Further details of his condition could not be provided by the government due to South African privacy laws.
Simelane-Zulu acknowledged understaffing issues at RK Khan, but said that alone could not explain Ebrahim’s condition.
South Africa has a two-tier health-care system, with private medical treatment available for those who can afford it. The majority of its citizens use the public side of the system, which is generally regarded as underfunded.
Azaad Ebrahim addressed this issue in a follow-up Facebook post, saying a protest would take place outside the hospital this week and calling for the board overseeing RK Khan to be replaced.
“Our people are dying because the nurses can’t cope anymore and don’t care,” he wrote.
“They are overworked, understaffed and lack resources.”<br />
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