Officials from the Ministry of Health (MoH) were recently stunned when a doctor’s referral led them to a dingy shrine where they faced up with a “very confident witch doctor (native healer),” Empty Tin can exclusively reveal.
The State minister for health was on a fact-finding undercover visit to assess the quality of health service delivery and medical ethics at Lyantonde District Hospital when an obstetric gynaecologist referred them to a “clinic with advanced medical service and equipment.”
The newly appointed minister had in tow the ministry’s communication team led by a senior publicist, security detail and two journalists.
The publicist, who first pleaded with Empty Tin not to concoct these events, later relented and confirmed the bizarre incident, describing it as something that “can only appear in imagination” and that it was “out of this world.”
The minister turned up in hijab complete with veils. Of course, most doctors would never recognise the health minister, but still she went that far just to be sure.
“She presented as having minor condition and, after brief examination, the doctor mumbled something about lack of medicines and asked if the patient needed urgent attention or would wait for a few days,” the publicist said.
Naturally, the minister said she wouldn’t come back another day. So the doctor scribbled a telephone number on a sheet of paper and asked her to call if she was absolutely sure so that the receiver directs her to a specialised clinic.
“A sleepy man answered the call on the first ring and directed us to a roundabout. There, we found him with a huge chewing stick. This man was yawning more than he breathed in and out. In fact, it looked like his life depending more on yawning than breathing,” the MoH publicist said.
The yawning man introduced himself as Samwiri and walked his clients through alleys into a slum, stopping abruptly outside a shanty, tired tin dwelling that had a sign on its mud and wattle wall reading, “Dr Mbonimpa Wekinansi.”
Dr Mbonimpa Wekinansi, according to the signage, treats diabetes, flushes out cancer cells, cures blood pressure, cleanses the womb of bacteria that stop pregnancy, heals headache and “helps with all other problems that affect humanity world over.”
The ‘specialist doctor’ went in overdrive to impress his new client, saying his herbs were procured from “Pyongyang town in Beijing, the capital of Malaysia” where he travels every end of month to restock due to high demand for his service.
“We arrested the yawning guide and returned to the hospital to arrest the doctor too,” the publicist said.
The minister said the doctor, whose identity has not been revealed so as to not jeopardise investigations, apologised for what he had done but defended his action.
“The doctor said they have no drugs and many patients are being turned away. He also claimed that many times when they refer patients to clinics, the same patients accuse them of being greedy and wanting to dispense the same service from their own private clinics,” the minister said.
“I can understand the challenge of drug stock-out but for a physician to refer patients to shrines is criminal.”
However, sources at the MoH intimated to Empty Tin that the bizarre referral has been a wakeup call to the government to restock public hospitals as many like Lyantonde have been grappling with lack of health supplies for way too long.
Police spokesperson said the doctor will be charged with negligence of duty and “misleading the honourable minister”.
He warned readers from taking Empty Tin serious, saying “such made up stories can only give a sneak peek into reality but not the complete picture.”
Disclaimer: Empty tins make a lot of noise which will very often make you laugh. Visit this page every Sunday to encounter Empty Tin and his warped ideas.