Cold baths at the Keetmans hospital

Cold baths at the Keetmans hospital

COAL-FIRED boilers at the Keetmanshoop State Hospital have been out of commission for a year now, and there is still no indication of when the problem will be solved.

Patients at the hospital have to bath in cold water, except in wards where electric geysers have been installed. The autoclave used to sterilise surgical tools also depends on steam produced by the boilers.The Namibian has established that surgical tools and other hospital equipment are transported to Luederitz twice a week to be sterilised, costing the Health Ministry thousands in transport costs.It is not clear why the boilers are not in operation.According to the hospital’s Principal Medical Officer, Dr Emmanuel Adigwe, the boilers are being phased out in favour of electrical equipment.But, in an earlier interview, Karas Regional Health Director Pume Katjiuajo said there simply was no money for coal.Adigwe told The Namibian yesterday that the Karas regional health office had promised that the conversion to electricity would be completed “in a short time”.However, he admitted: “We don’t know how long the short time will be”.Adigwe said in the meantime bathwater for patients was being heated on an electric stove, and small surgical tools were being sterilised in an electric autoclave.But a worker in the hospital’s kitchen rejected Adigwe’s statement that patients could take hot baths.She said water was heated on the stove for washing dishes, but not for patients to bath in.The autoclave used to sterilise surgical tools also depends on steam produced by the boilers.The Namibian has established that surgical tools and other hospital equipment are transported to Luederitz twice a week to be sterilised, costing the Health Ministry thousands in transport costs.It is not clear why the boilers are not in operation.According to the hospital’s Principal Medical Officer, Dr Emmanuel Adigwe, the boilers are being phased out in favour of electrical equipment.But, in an earlier interview, Karas Regional Health Director Pume Katjiuajo said there simply was no money for coal.Adigwe told The Namibian yesterday that the Karas regional health office had promised that the conversion to electricity would be completed “in a short time”.However, he admitted: “We don’t know how long the short time will be”.Adigwe said in the meantime bathwater for patients was being heated on an electric stove, and small surgical tools were being sterilised in an electric autoclave.But a worker in the hospital’s kitchen rejected Adigwe’s statement that patients could take hot baths.She said water was heated on the stove for washing dishes, but not for patients to bath in.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News