Patients of Tuberculosis Hospital Stop Hunger-strike
Patients of the Republican Tuberculosis Hospital in Navayelnia (Dziatlava district, Hrodna oblast) have stopped the hunger strike, but continue seeking other ways to express their protest.
As one of the participants of the strike Siarhei Volkau said to Nasha Niva, the cessation of the action had objective causes:
‘We can’t have a long hunger strike, because we must take medicines. Refusal to take medicines is violation of treating process and can lead to transfer to a closed hospital for compulsory treatment.’
According to him, 20 people had supper yesterday. They were patients with most difficult form of disease and women. S.Voranau shares his impressions of yesterday’s events:
‘It was a spontaneous action, we weren’t preparing for it. The people are keeping chin their up, the more active ones call to continue the strike, but we need solidarity here. Otherwise, some people will go to canteen, while others will be sitting hungry in wards.’
Nevertheless, according to the sick people, in spite of promises of chief doctor Mechyslau Douhal, their demands haven’t been fulfilled – there is still no hot water, the wards are as cold and moist as they were yesterday.
‘It’s odd. Is it so hard to do it within a day?’ Mr. Voranau wonders.
He says the action of protest hasn’t been stopped and people are discussing their further steps.
It should be reminded that 150 TB sick people didn’t come to breakfast at the Republican Tuberculosis Hospital on 14 January. The required the treating conditions to be improved. Chief doctor Mechyslau Douhal named their demands groundless. M. Douhal thinks the reason of the hunger strike was ban for patients to leave the territory of the hospital. According to him, there are all necessary things on the territory of the hospital, but the patients have an opposite opinion. They say about absence of necessary hygiene means, medicines, food and complain about bad living conditions.