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Hygiene risk at Katutura Hospital

13 June 2012

Katutura State HospitalDESPITE recent media reports in which the Minister of Health Richard Kamwi urged the public to remain calm and have faith in the health care system, problems at state hospitals continue to emerge.

A doctor working at Katutura State Hospital told the Windhoek Observer this week that a water supply pipe, which burst almost one week ago, has not yet been fixed, leaving the institution without water.
This meant that not only doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, but most of all patients had to make do with an already challenging environment at the state hospital.

According to sources, the biggest problem is the hygiene issue because one cannot prevent people from using the toilets and then eventually the smell becomes unbearable in the place.
The water shortage has affected numerous critical services, but the doctor listed a few as the greatest concern.
“We can’t wash our hands properly after examining a patient. You can’t scrub in theatre thoroughly and therefore the place cannot be completely sterile before a procedure.
“This morning I saw nurses carrying urns with water from some tap somewhere just to ensure that we have a small supply in the ward,” she said.
Another doctor, who also spoke with the Windhoek Observer but preferred to remain anonymous, said she had to travel either to Maerua Mall or drive home to Eros when she needed to answer the call of nature.
The situation has become stressful especially for the nurses who are expected to provide quality health care services with very limited amounts of clean water.
They are expected to administer oral medication to patients throughout the day as well as keeping the wards clean.
The hospital staff are not certain when the burst pipe that resulted in water supplies to the hospital being cut off will be fixed. They also do not know who is responsible for the repairs of the pipe and its maintenance.
“They say there is a burst pipe somewhere, which has cut off water supplies since Friday,” one of the nurses confirmed, “and all we can do is hope that supplies will be restored soon.”
Katutura Hospital has lately attracted bad publicity following the death of Juliana Kleopas and her newborn baby under questionable circumstances.
Several attempts to obtain any comment from the various health practitioners in charge proved futile.
The Katutura Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr George Judmann, refused to comment as he said he had just left his office.
“I’m not going comment at this hour. You could have called me earlier in the day. You cannot tell me you did not have the story two hours ago,” was all he said.
The Windhoek Observer learnt that Minister Kamwi is out of the country and the phone of Deputy Minister Petrina Haingura went unanswered. – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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