Radar | Aug 22,2020
Apr 29 , 2023
By Eden Sahle
Medical practitioners at Zewditu Memorial Hospital are struggling with a scarce water supply. The unhygienic restrooms remain locked most times. They usually leave the hospital compound in search of toilets and water to wash in cafés, restaurants or mosques.
The burden is significant on women. They are compelled to retain sanitary pads for long hours risking infections especially when on duty for 24 hours. Pregnant women suffer as they need to use the bathroom frequently.
This is all happening in the centre of the capital city.
A person who has set foot in public hospitals is familiar with the unhygienic restrooms. The foul odour due to lack of water makes it uncomfortable for patients and attendants to stay around. However, it is overwhelming that the toilets come in short supply even for medical practitioners who are forced to use one unsanitary restroom per ward that may remain locked. The wards with barely functioning washrooms deny their colleagues from other wards access.
The scene of the restrooms is sickening to describe let alone use it. Medical professionals are forced to share the equally dirty lavatories of admitted patients or avoid eating and drinking so that they are not pressed to use one.
I believe that public hospitals in Ethiopia are far from being a place patients go to get free of infections rather increase the possibility of getting one. The sight of uncleaned bloody floors amidst the chaos in the emergency ward is not rare. Mice and bed bugs are inhabitants in the wards to the point of forcing patients to install mice catchers and bed bug repellants.
World Health Organization (WHO) puts hand hygiene as the most important measure to prevent healthcare-associated infections. Something public hospital care providers fall short of, exacerbating the avoidable infection.
The scarce water supply leaves medical practitioners to wash with alcohol after using toilets or eating. The risk of cross-contamination is real. Practitioners say lack of hygiene is a drawback on patients’ recovery that worsens underlying conditions and reduces the quality of life after being discharged from hospitals.
One does not need to be a medical practitioner to imagine the magnitude of the problem. A visit to public hospitals proves how much the institutions are neglected. The biggest hospital in the country Black Lion Hospital is not immune to these nuances where the lack of functioning toilets turned the corners of the large compound into one. Being at the compound is almost as disturbing as one can experience inside the hospital due to the foul smell.
The bedrooms both genders of medical doctors share during their 24-hour duty hours are tainted. It is unimaginable how medical doctors who are aware of the health hazards sleep on them. Their justification is marred by a lack of better choices following a 20-hour shift.
These problems are not new to medical practitioners. They have grieved the administration for decades and are still revving decades later. Unless infection control is dropped off the Ministry of Health agenda they should not be complacent and ignore the critical problem that can affect the health of medical professionals, patients and attendants.
Those in the medical sector emphasise the importance of infection prevention and control as one of the critical priorities for medical institutions. When ignored these health hazards lurk in hospitals and increase the risk of infections, complications and death.
In Africa, the chance of being harmed in a hospital setting is much higher and the risk of acquiring a healthcare-associated infection is as much as 20 times higher. A high proportion of patients are infected with harmful germs, bacteria and viruses, which continually jeopardise their health. There is a one in 300 chance of healthcare-induced injury that equates to thousands of premature deaths daily, according to WHO. The organization says the developed nations are not immune to harm although putting the number at a much smaller scale to one in 10 patients.
The government has ambitions to make Ethiopia a medical tourism destination. However, its own citizens are losing faith, travelling to other countries even for simple checkups. Addressing these catastrophic problems should come first. The alarm has been ringing for a long time seeking the attention of authorities and ignoring it further only aggravates the damage.
PUBLISHED ON Apr 29,2023 [ VOL 24 , NO 1200]
Radar | Aug 22,2020
Fortune News | Jul 08,2023
Fortune News | Oct 30,2022
Fortune News | May 13,2023
Fortune News | Jan 18,2020
Radar | Sep 11,2020
Sunday with Eden | Mar 28,2020
Commentaries | Aug 05,2023
Fortune News | Oct 30,2021
Commentaries | Nov 14,2020
Photo Gallery | 82740 Views | May 06,2019
Photo Gallery | 74882 Views | Apr 26,2019
Fineline | 58534 Views | Oct 03,2020
Fortune News | 58326 Views | Jul 18,2020
Commentaries | Dec 02,2023
Life Matters |
My Opinion | Dec 02,2023
Sunday with Eden | Dec 02,2023
Agenda | Dec 02,2023
Editorial | Dec 02,2023
Dec 24 , 2022
Biniam Mikru heads the department of cabinet affairs under Mayor Adanech Abiebie. But...
Jul 2 , 2022 . By RUTH TAYE
On a rainy afternoon last week, a coffee processing facility in the capital's Akaki-Qality District was abuzz with activ...
Nov 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
Nov 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country's most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or two...
Dec 2 , 2023
The symphony of traffic noise in Addis Abeba is not just a sign of life, but a siren...
Nov 25 , 2023
Ethiopia's quest to develop a functioning capital market is a demanding yet not unach...
Nov 18 , 2023
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has made a fervent call for landlocked Ethiopia to ga...
Nov 11 , 2023
In November last year, a ray of hope pierced the gloomy skies of Ethiopia as the Pret...
I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. It is my go to source for information. I enjoy interacting with text messages and browsing t...
Over the weekend, I attended a wedding where my husband was one of the protocols. Despite the typical joy...
Dec 2 , 2023 . By MUNIR SHEMSU
Mamo Mihretu, the governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), has outlined a com...
Dec 2 , 2023 . By AKSAH ITALO
BGI Ethiopia, one of the largest brewing companies, is in the throes of a major trans...
Minister of Agriculture, Girma Amentie (PhD), is leading a charge to overhaul the fer...
Dec 2 , 2023 . By AKSAH ITALO
Amidst accession to a cross-regional trade, one of the oldest industries is strugglin...
Or see contact page