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No monkeying around at RK Khan Hosptial for health minister

Daily News logo Daily News 2019-02-08 CHRIS NDALISO

A MONKEY spotted by a relative who was visiting a patient at the RK Khan Hospital. © Provided by Independent Media A MONKEY spotted by a relative who was visiting a patient at the RK Khan Hospital. Durban - THE national Department of Health has appointed a task team to tackle the ongoing invasion of KwaZulu-Natal’s RK Khan Hospital by monkeys.

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Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi visited the province on Wednesday and announced live on television that his national office was intervening in the matter. The move, though welcomed, was still criticised for various reasons.

Last year the Daily News reported that the monkeys were invading the wards and other parts of the Durban hospital, stealing food from patients and compromising the sterile environment.

The monkeys reportedly came into the wards through open windows.

The patients’ lockers at the hospital cannot be closed or locked, apparently making it easy for the monkeys to grab fruit and other food.

At the time, department spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda said the hospital management was in contact with an NGO to find a solution to the problem.

Motsoaledi’s spokesperson Popo Maja yesterday said the intervention comprised a multidisciplinary and multisectoral task team.

“We have the department’s national and provincial offices involved. The veterinary section of the Department of Agriculture and the biodiversity unit of the national Department of Environmental Affairs are also involved. We will communicate further on the developments soon,” Maja said.

The DA welcomed the intervention, but said RKKhan was not the only health facility affected by monkeys.

Dr Imran Keeka, the party’s spokesperson on health, said the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial and Wentworth hospitals were also targeted by the primates.

“We were reliably informed that the most recent video clip showing RK Khan - which went viral on social media last year - does not provide full details of what transpired that day. While the DA welcomes Minister Motsoaledi’s attention when it comes to this invasion, he is doing us no big favour. The problems within the provincial Health Department are far bigger than ‘monkey business’ at a few hospitals,” Keeka said.

He added that it was also bizarre that it should take Minister Motsoaledi to deal with the problem.

A Durban resident who identified himself as BD Khathi wrote to Isolezwe, the Daily News’s sister paper, saying it was a disappointment and a disgrace to have “two grown-up men” who were leaders discussing troublesome monkeys on live television.

“It did not make sense that a national minister descends to the province to deal with monkeys while the hospital has its own chief executive.”

The KZN Health Department would only say that the matter was being handled by Motsoaledi’s office.

Daily News

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