Oshakati hospital using paper for bedding
… while food for patients is prepared off site
By Hertta- Maria Amutenja
OSHAKATI Intermediary Hospital has had to resort to using specialised hospital paper known as sterilisation wraps as bedding in place of linen due a non-functional laundry system at the institution.
In normal circumstances, sterilisation wrap is usually meant to cover the surgical equipment in the theatre rooms.
The laundry and kitchen services for the 750-bed hospital, which serves close to a million patients a year, have been out of order since the beginning of July forcing staff to drive about 45km (almost an hour) to wash hospital bedding at Onandjokwe State Hospital.
According to a nurse who spoke to Confidente on condition of anonymity, the situation is sometimes so bad that there is no clean linen to place on the beds.
“We can go for days without getting clean linen I remember there was a time we couldn’t get clean linen the whole weekend, we had to go look at the other departments and we couldn’t find so we ended up using papers (sterilisation wraps) on patients’ beds … these are the papers that are used in the theatre room,” she said.
She further went on to indicate that since the kitchen has also been out of order, the hospital staff have to use Hifikepunye Pohamba Unam campus facilities, some 7km away, to prepare and cook food for patients.
As a result she says the food is sometimes delivered late while at times patients who are supposed to get soft porridge or oats with tea every morning, only get tea and bread.
“The food is cooked at the campus, because our gas tanks are leaking and they have been like that for a while now, since last month and the patients are not even given enough food,” said the irritated nurse.
The hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Korbinian Vizcaya Amutenya said the hospital has requested for the contracting company to attend to the kitchen and laundry boilers and in the meantime, they have been getting assistance from other government institutions.
“We have requested for the CTS company which is the contractor to come have a look at it (kitchen) and they will be here this afternoon. We can’t allow patients to go without food so we have asked for assistance from Hifikepunye Pohamba Unam campus to assist us with their kitchen and Onandjokwe State Hospital with their laundry facilities,” Amutenya said.
In view of the patients not getting enough food Amutenya said they have a catering company that comes with a menu and has not heard complains about the food.
He further went on to disagree that the hospital is using papers when out of clean linen on beds. “I am not aware of patient beds using those papers. It has not been reported to me. I do not know if it has happened or not but those are things of the past,” said Amutenya
He added that as of Wednesday morning the contractors had been attending to the kitchen situation while they are still waiting for the laundry room to be attended to.