National 2.8.2016 11:27 am

30 Esidimeni child patients soon to have a home

Frank Khumalo.

Frank Khumalo.

The closure of Life Esidimeni has sparked outrage among family members of the former center’s almost 2 000 psychiatric patients.

A disability center in Westonaria has been identified as a suitable home for some of Life Esidimeni’s destitute child patients, Randfontein Herald reports.

The Korekile Home for Cerebral Palsied Children will take in 30 former Esidimeni patients. Provision has already been made to accommodate these patients. The home recently acquired a licence to take in 150 children – 30 more than they were previously able to take in.

Korekile recently built a stimulation center for their children, after two years of fundraising. The center is already in operation and is equipped to take Esidimeni’s child patients.

Like Esidimeni, Korekile is a live-in facility, where the children have round the clock care.

The center has grown from strength to strength over the 20 years of its existence, and Frank Khumalo from the home said he is eager to take in and help the Esidimeni children.

The closure of Life Esidimeni has sparked outrage among family members of the former center’s psychiatric patients. The center closed earlier this year, leaving about 2 000 psychiatric patients with no place to go.

“It remains to be seen whether all the patients who used to be accommodated by Esidimeni will be properly looked after,” said Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng shadow MEC for Health.

In a family briefing only months before Esidimeni closed its doors, family members were told that their relatives would be transferred to other psychiatric hospitals, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or would be placed back home, depending on the level of their disability.

Earlier this year in June, family members of the Esidimeni patients protested outside the Gauteng Health Department Head Office because they were and still are unhappy about the transfers from the center.

“Some have been placed at Weskoppies and Sterkfontein hospitals and others at NGOs that do not appear to have the staff or expertise to look after them,” Bloom said.

– Caxton News Service.

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