Written by Rinelda Mouton
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 22:46
The toilets and bathroom at the nurse’s home at Windhoek Central hospital in Windhoek are decidedly filthy and present a health risk to workers and an embarrassment to the administration.
One nurse revealed that most of the bathrooms and toilets are not in working order. “How can a living person use those toilets and bathrooms? The ones that are not out of order are in a horrible condition and cannot be used. They are so dirty,” she complained.
Nurses at Block B admitted that the condition they live in presents a nightmare and that their bathroom facilities are not useable.
There is a horrible smell about the place and it is untidy. Spider webs can be seen stretching from the roof to the floor. There are two baths available, but only one is usable. There are three toilets, but one is covered with a black plastic bag and another is locked. There is only one working shower.
Another nurse revealed that she prefers to use a bucket to wash in, rather than risk using the baths. “Those baths are so dirty. They never get cleaned and diseases are running around. I’ll rather wash in a small bucket in my room than use those bathrooms,” she says. She fears for the safety and well-being of the patients that they work with as nurses. She says that they can catch diseases there and might infect the patients as well.
Another nurse blamed the cleaners for not cleaning the place. She claims that she has been living there for more than a year and has never seen anyone cleaning the place. “We nurses have to jump in ourselves and make the place tidy. We are nurses and it is not our job to clean. Why are the cleaners not doing what they are paid to do and why is the management not talking to them?” she asked.
Her colleague says that she has reported the matter to management on several occasions, but to date nothing has been done. “Complaining is not working here. It is not a healthy place, but still our complaints are not being heard. I am fed up of not being listened to, fed up of this dirty and smelly place. It is horrible.”
Another worker says that she fears for the health of her child. “I have a small child who stays with me. She touches everything and puts things into her month. This place is not in any condition to raise a child in. I pray everyday for the Lord to give me a better job. I honestly fear for the safety and well-being of my child here,” she said looking very distressed.
Antonette Cooper, a private secretary in the office of the Permanent Secretary, admitted that the Windhoek Central Hospital does not have a public relations officer, but she advised Informanté to mail questions to her and promised to pass these on to the right person.
Informante however received an e-mail from Dr. N. Forster that says “Dear Saarah, could you kindly provide relevant responses to the below questions soonest. Also, please have your Chief Control Officer, Mr Shaama, inspect the facility and institute remedial action immediately.”
Informanté did not receive any further feedback by the time of going to press.