Bed Shortage Hits Katutura Hospital

A SHORTAGE of beds at the Katutura State Hospital has forced mothers and their children admitted in the hospital’s cancer ward to sleep on the floor.

Ministry of Health and Social Services permanent secretary Andrew Ndishishi blamed the shortage of beds at the hospital on a lack of space.

A cleaner attached to Ward 7 A where children diagnosed with cancer are admitted told The Namibian on condition of anonymity on Monday that the shortage of beds has been an ongoing problem.

“Although these problems are reported, they just can’t seem to be attended to. It’s worse that even during winter the parents have to sleep on the floor with their children,” said the cleaner.

On a visit to the hospital, The Namibian observed that rooms two, eight, nine, 10 and 11 in the same ward did not have beds. The patients were sitting on mattresses with their parents. The ward currently accommodates 58 patients.

Ndishishi reiterated his claim that: “It’s space, it’s not the beds.” It is unclear what he meant by this.

The hospital’s acting senior medical superintendent, Nelago Amagulu, could not be reached for comment because she was said to be attending meetings all day on Monday and was said to be conducting unspecified interviews yesterday.

While the problem appears to be serious at Katutura hospital, nurses at the Windhoek Central Hospital also told the First Lady, Penehupifo Pohamba, during a tour of the hospital last week that they too did not have enough beds.

Pohamba was visiting the hospital during the launch of the Countdown Campaign of the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa Conference.

The nurses mentioned Ward Eight West, which currently accommodates 22 children, as the hardest hit and the First Lady promised to look into the problem.

Source : The Namibian