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MBABANE – Desperate times call for desperate measures!

This adage rang true for a bucopho who risked his life when he received a call from a desperate family seeking his assistance to take an elderly woman to hospital. It was at around 8pm and the family made it known that they needed his assistance as they had tried calling 977 but had not received help. Nkosingiphile ‘Pilos’ Masina of Nceka under Siphofaneni Inkhundla, after having been informed that the elderly woman presented  symptoms of COVID-19 including a strong fever, quickly wore what he believed was his own protective clothing and drove the woman to the nearest hospital. He said after the symptoms had been described to him, he concluded that they were similar to the ones stated by health experts related to COVID-19.
As he prepared to transport the woman, he shared the news in a WhatsApp group for bucopho and tindvuna tetinkhundla, telling them about the tough task ahead.


“I then wore my mask and a jacket which I usually use for gym. The jacket has a hood which I told myself would cover me properly. I have a Mazda sedan. I do not have a bakkie, otherwise I would have requested them to board at the back,” he said. He said he found himself with no choice, but to assist the elderly woman despite the threat on his own safety. The scenario, according to Masina, followed another one which happened recently, where he unknowingly assisted another resident who had actually tested positive for COVID-19 and had been advised to go home and isolate.

“I was called by the mother telling me that her daughter had fallen sick, but since the facilities were full they had said she should go and recover at home. She stayed at home for the first day and it was promising. However, at around 11pm the next day, her condition deteriorated. I had to transport them to the Sithobela Clinic,” he said. According to Masina, when he offered to transport the mother and her daughter, he was not aware that the latter had actually tested positive for COVID-19. “All they told me was that she had become worse. Actually, since she is still young, I suspected that she might be pregnant. But when we arrived at Sithobela Clinic, the mother then confided that her daughter had actually tested positive for COVID-19 at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial (RFM) Hospital and the wards were full. She also confided that they had used public transport and the bus was in full capacity,” said Masina.

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