17 April 2018

Namibia: Katutura Hospital's Perpetual Pipe Bursts Pose Danger

Windhoek — The medical superintendent at the Katutura State Hospital, Dr Fady Ashmawy, yesterday said renovating the hospital's old structures - including water pipes that burst every other day - is the ultimate solution to addressing maintenance problems.

The hospital has been experiencing occasional pipe bursts, resulting in water interruptions. The latest interruption occurred last week Thursday.

Without revealing figures, Ashmawy explained that most infrastructures at the hospital have not been maintained since 1975 when the hospital was officially opened.

"Renovation is the solution," Ashmawy told New Era.

The general repairs of the hospital have already started and are being done in segments to keep the health services open to the public, he explained.

"You cannot repair everything at once because we are offering [essential] services. The hospital cannot close for two years while we repair. Emergencies are unexpected," Ashmawy added.

A patient who was due for operation last Friday morning told New Era that they were sent back home because of water interruption on Thursday night.

"The nurses took our numbers and told us that the doctor will contact us and notify us when we should come back. In the wards, the nurses were also talking about the water interruption and the whole night there was no water even to drink," said the patient, who preferred anonymity.

Ashmawy dismissed the claims, saying 33 operations were done on Thursday and 19 operations were done on Friday.

The head of (operating) theatre called him explaining that there was water interruption and asked if patients could be sent home, said Ashmawy. "I responded that no operation should be postponed. There was just a delay on Friday because the first operation started at 08h30 in the morning," said Ashmawy.

He also explained that the water was interrupted because of a pipe burst that occurred at around 13h20 on Thursday last week. However, it was attended to and by Friday morning, everything was back to normal.


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