16 February 2013

Uganda: Patients Entering Mulago Hospital to Be Bathed

Kampala — In a bid to weed out diseases caused by poor hygiene, Mulago Hospital will soon start bathing all patients entering the hospital, the hospital chief said on Saturday.

Dr. Byarugaba Bonaventure Baterena, the Mulago executive director said the tough measures were geared towards making the country's national referral hospital an icon of cleanliness.

"All patients entering Mulago hospital will be bathed. We shall also ensure that all visitors are dipped in Jik [a disinfectant] prior to accessing the hospital facility.

"I am going to be extremely serious about this issue because I am tired of dirtiness," he said.

The practice will be costly, but the health facility is determined to ensure that diseases associated with poor hygiene are significantly checked.

Byarugaba was speaking to medics and staff of Security Group who had just taken part in the hospital's monthly hygiene day held on Saturday.

The over 100 security operatives cleaned the hospital and also donated blood.

Mulago hospital, initially planned to accommodate 1500 patients, currently admits over 2500 and receives over 20,000 patients annually with an estimated number of visitors and patient caretakers.

Byarugaba made an outcry of the polythene bags [buveeras] that are scattered all over the hospital's grounds.

Diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and dysentery are caused by poor personal and communal hygiene.

"Anybody who has ever suffered from diarrhea, dysentery or typhoid ate stool. The degree of illness is leveled against the quantity of stool consumed. Eating without washing hands is another cause," he said.

He warned men against urinating everywhere, saying the practice was a disgrace. "Don't go urinating everywhere on walls like dogs - this goes to men," he said.

The health facility partnered with Security Group to clean the hospital every three months.

Richard Mwesiga, the managing director Security Group said his staff would donate 150 units of blood to the hospital on top of the cleaning exercise to rid the hospital of garbage, filth and dirt.

"We have decided to clean this hospital to the required standards every three months," he said.

The hospital management last year instituted mechanisms to deal with the heavy decongestion in its premises.

Enoch Kusasira the hospital publicist said new measures that involved issuing of cards to patient attendants was paying off. Under the development, only one attendant per patient is allowed in the wards.

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