NAMIBIA: HEALTH/NBC/24/1/18 SABANews 1
WINDHOEK – The opposition POPULAR DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT in NAMIBIA has condemned the poor hygiene at state hospitals, which it says has the potential to continue the spread of the Hepatitis E disease.
Party President MCHENRY VENAANI says non-flushing toilets at the KATUTURA Government Hospital are of particular concern to him.
He has told a media briefing this week of his disgust at the worsening sanitary conditions at the medical centre, where nursing staff and patients are having to use buckets to flush toilets.
NBC News says the poor sanitation at KATUTURA Hospital has been public knowledge for some time now, with reports of rats and cockroaches in wards, falling ceilings, faulty water taps and toilets, as well as occasional shortages of crucial medicines.
It says Mr VENAANI has further condemned the obvious lack of commitment to service delivery, mainly in informal settlements where poor households do not have proper toilet facilities.
The national broadcaster also says in the FIVE weeks since the outbreak of Hepatitis E, some 440 people have shown symptoms of infection and 40 cases have been confirmed positive.
It says infection comes after exposure to water contaminated by faeces or from poor hygiene, meaning that people do not wash hands after using the toilet.
The spread of outbreak of Hepatitis E in the NAMIBIAN high-density suburbs is made worse by the lack of functional toilets and water points in the HAVANA and GOREANGAB Dam informal areas.
WHO says Hepatitis E is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis E virus, HEV, which is shed in the stools of infected persons and enters the human body through the intestine; while a proportion of people with this disease can die./Sabanews/cam