Ministry should raise hygiene standards in public hospitals
SEE ALSO :Kirinyaga loses as Thiba dam stallThese cases are symptomatic of the general malaise in public hospitals. Post devolution, hospitals previously known as provincial general hospitals were upgraded to referral hospitals. The downside of this is that the upgrading was in name only, for many lack requisite facilities like infrastructure, equipment and staff to match the status of referral hospitals. Despite being aware that contaminated water, food and unclean toilets are agents of cholera, many public hospital managements have failed to ensure the provision of clean drinking water and enough clean toilets to cater for both patients and staff members. That hygiene is paramount seems to have eluded them. A recent study by Kenya Medical Research Institute, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and the University of Oxford published in the journal Plos One shows that top county hospitals do not have adequate toilets, lack piped water and storage for safe drinking water, hence jeopardising the lives of patients and workers. Overall, 42 per cent of public hospitals lack lighting and do not have connected water taps while, to a larger extent, men and women share toilets in wards. This goes against the rules of decency. In part, the report says: “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (wash) in healthcare facilities is critical in the provision of safe and quality care. Poor sanitation increases hospital-associated infections and contributes to the rise of drug resistance”. It is time for the Health ministry to pull up its socks and measure up to public expectation. Budgetary allocations and money raised from cost-sharing should be put to good use uplifting standards in public hospitals.
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