Katutura hospital faces bed shortage

By Tracy Tafirenyika

KATUTURA State Hospital is experiencing a shortage of beds resulting in some admitted patients sleeping on the floor.

A snap survey at one of the country’s largest hospitals showed patients in a desperate situation.

Some patients who spoke on condition of anonymity expressed their disappointment at the state of affairs.

“I have been sleeping on the floor for the past three days and l am not feeling well. I do not have enough blankets only two sheets and l am sleeping on the floor with only a mattress. You can see here the door and the windows are facing me, all the cold that is coming from outside is hitting me so hard.

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“l am in the middle of everybody and it is not nice at all. My bags and my food are just on the floor as well, there is no locker or anywhere safe where l can put all of these things. I am currently having stomach cramps and they are getting worse because of the cold,” said one of the patients, while another added that:

“I went for my operation yesterday and it was almost during lunch, l did not eat that time but when l came back after lunch l was told by my bed neighbour that the nurses had removed the food without me eating. It is not right because not all of us can afford to buy food and now we have to stay hungry because they do not care. ”

Another frustrated patient also said, “I went for my womb cleaning, and after that l was told that l’m supposed to go home as they had discharged me. l was having too much in pain and l could barely walk. l asked the nurses if they could discharge me in the morning since it was too late, but they went on to say I had to sleep on the floor because more patients were still coming and they needed to sleep on that bed that I was currently sleeping on.”

Responding to questions, acting chief medical superintendent of Katutura State Hospital, Mwadina Shiweda said: “There are no bed shortages at the hospital (reproductive ward). There is no patient in 3a and 3b lying on the floor because the bed capacity in those wards is 42 and currently there are 41 patients in ward A and B.”

Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula said he was not aware of the shortage affecting the hospital.

“I am not aware of these allegations, have you checked with the superintendent. They are the only people who can know because as a minister l am not aware of everything that is happening in all the hospitals. There are people who are managing those hospitals and they should be in a position to know what is going on in those institutions”.