Nurses, Botswana Police and BDF acted swiftly to foil a suicide attempt by a Nyangabwe Hospital patient who had escaped from hospital with a mission to kill himself.
Joseph Mathe crawled out of Nyangabwe hospital at around 4am on Thursday morning and went to climb a tower next to Metsef Wholesalers with the intention of jumping off and ending his life. On reaching the top of the tower Mathe must have changed his mind as he started screaming for help.
He was heard by residents of nearby Donga and Somerset location who called the police and the BDF for help. Their efforts to rescue him were
unsuccessful as he continuously threatened to jump off the tower were they to approach him. He was finally convinced to climb down by nurses from Nyangabwe Hospital who then took him back to the hospital. While still on top of the tower Mathe told the police that he had a lot of problems and he wanted to end his life. He also said that he had left a suicide note under the pillow of his hospital bed.
Nyangabwe Hospital Superintendent Japhta Masunge confirmed receiving reports of the suicide attempt from his staff. He was, however, reluctant to disclose more information as he said he could not disclose information about a hospital patient. Masunge blamed nurses at Nyangabwe Hospital for negligence saying that it was their responsibility to check on patients all the time and immediately report missing patients to hospital security.
?Nurses should know exactly how many patients are in a ward and which patients occupy which bed? he said.
However, Masunge said that the shortage of nurses in the hospital could have led to the patient escaping without notice. He told The Sunday Standard that a ward has 50-60 patients who are supposed to be attended by 5 nurses. But due to shortage of nurses every ward is attended to by 2 nurses instead of 5.