JEDDAH – As the Ministry of Social Affairs attempts to put an end to the increasing reports of problems in the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center, authorities of the center’s Madinah branch report another death of a resident, a woman in her 40s, in addition to a new case of violence.
Al-Watan reported that the woman was suffering from a disease and her condition started deteriorating rapidly. The center’s authorities contacted one of her relatives for his consent in order for her to undergo an urgent surgical operation, but she passed away before the operation date. There have been eight deaths related to the center in the last two months.
A woman in Riyadh lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Social Affairs against the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center in Al-Malaz, Riyadh when she discovered that her son — who suffers from autism — was physically abused. She was told that her son sustained light injuries when he fell off from the center’s bus. Later, her son told her that a female worker in the center had beaten him brutally, knocking out one of his teeth.
When the mother complained to the authorities in the center, her complaint was refused on the pretext that the administration was not authorized to receive complaints from the relatives of residents.
In a related development, investigations of an eight-year-old girl housed in the Yanbu branch of the center are underway, after the girl suffered from a fracture to her knee while she was returning from a hospital visit.
Authorities in the center’s administration will announce the results of the investigation soon.
A supervisor in Madinah’s branch of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) spoke about the shortcomings in Madinah’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center. A team member from the branch had visited the center and listed all of the shortcomings.
She claimed that the center is understaffed, one of the center’s most significant shortcomings. The residents also far exceed the center’s accommodation capacity, and the staff are not well trained. She stressed the importance of covering the entire center with surveillance cameras.
Last month, the body of a man in his 20s housed at the Madinah Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center was found after he drowned in a septic tank.
According to an official statement released by the ministry, the man had escaped from the center’s rear entrance and fallen into a septic tank. However, the victim’s family said he had been neglected and left outside the building. — SG