Nankudu hospital without blankets

NANKUDU: Patients admitted to the Nankudu District Hospital have been without blankets for more than a month after the hospital’s washing machines and dryers broke down.

The hospital is situated at the Nankudu village in the Kavango West Region, some 100 kilometres (km) west of Rundu.

The washing machines and dryers broke towards the end of December last year. Since then, dirty blankets have been piling up outside the hospital’s laundry department in bags.

The hospital has only been transporting other linen such as sheets and mattress covers and patient gowns to Rundu, where it is washed by a private laundry service provider.

Employees at the Nankudu District Hospital told Nampa on condition of anonymity on Monday that over 200 blankets were supposed to be transported to Ondangwa to be cleaned by a private company there.

This was not done, and the blankets have started to give off an unpleasant odour.

Laundry workers at the hospital apparently just show up for work for attendance purposes, and have no work to do.

When this reporter visited the hospital on Monday, no hospital blankets could be seen on beds in any of the four wards, and most patients were using their own blankets.

Patients admitted to the hospital are complaining about the lack of clean blankets, especially when it rains and temperatures drop.

Clinics and health centres such as those at Mpungu, Rupara, and Mburuuru which rely on the Nankudu District Hospital for laundry services have also been affected.

The Rundu Intermediary Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Juri Yangazov, who is also responsible for the Kavango West Region where the Nankudu District Hospital is situated, confirmed the broken machines, adding that the Nankudu hospital is not alone in this situation as the Rundu Intermediary Hospital’s laundry machines have also been broken for some six months now.

He told this agency on Tuesday the intermediary hospital has been utilising private laundry services, which have proven costly, while the service provider also cannot cope with the hospital’s huge amounts of dirty linen.

Some of the washing machines and dryers are more than 30 years old, said Yangazov.

The superintendent indicated that Government has contracted a private company to do the laundry, and this company had ordered new machines from overseas, but these will take a while to get here.