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Councillors Decry Appalling State Of Palapye Hospital

PALAPYE: Khurumela ward councillor, George Makhura says the rapidly growing village has overwhelmed the Palapye Primary Hospital (PPH), which is in a terrible and uninhabitable state.

He raised this at the ongoing Palapye sub-district council meeting last week. He implored the council to visit the facility for first-hand information on the conditions of the hospital.

Makhura said the buildings are in a bad state with falling ceilings, cramped admission ward and lack of beds and blankets in the wards, and patients sleep on the floor.

He said because the hospital serves Palapye and Tswapong areas, hundreds of people throng the facility on a daily basis. He said there were not even enough rest-rooms to serve all the people that use the facility.

Makhura said because of being regurlarly plagued by a high turnout of patients, the hospital has developed a pungent smell, resulting from too much dirt around the facility.

He said part of the hospital was bat- infested and rats were always scurrying around the confines of the hospital and yet it is business as usual.

Some patients, he said, spent the whole day at the hospital and yet they leave without proper assistance. He said there was also a persisting problem of shortage of medication.

He said the hospital staff cannot carry the blame because they don’t only work under the depressing conditions, but were also overwhelmed by the numbers of patients who use the hospital.

“We are blaming the wrong people everyday for poor service. The nurses are trying, but they get discouraged quickly and start dragging their feets. The conditions of services at that hospital are discouraging. That hospital is in tatters,” he said, further noting that though they can carry half the blame, the facility and the numbers of the people that visit that hospital daily were the problem. Palapye has grown too big for the hospital and necessary measures needed to be taken if this country cared about the health of its people”.

Makhura was supported by Lerala/Maunatlala councillor, Salome Lesole who noted that patients at her constituency were refered to PPH.

“This is where we refer our patients to and they don’t get pertinent help. The hospital has always been an eyesore. We have had bad experiences with the services offered at the PPH and we are worried. We are speaking for the health of the people and this is a matter that needs urgent attention,” she said.

The Monitor visited the hospital on Friday around 7:30am and right at the entrance, were greeted by the front doors losing guttering and rickety fascia boards.

Inside at the reception area, patients were getting their cards stamped and afterwards cramped the tiny waiting area that has eight four-sitter benches side by side in two rows.

The patients waited until 8am for the nurses to start checking their body temperatures and blood pressures before consultations and other businesses begin.

Front desk business started 10 minutes later after the nurse

had given a brief health talk. Before then, as patients were queuing on the benches The Monitor team eavesdropped a convesation between two senior citizens who had made the first bench.

The other narrated how she left home when it was dark so that she could arrive early and finish on time.

“Sale ke tsogile ka four ke ipaakanya ka six ke ha ke tsena gone ha, se sepatela ha o sa phakele o lala ha (I woke up around 4am and at 6am I was already in the que, if you don’t make it here early you spend the whole day here),” she said to the other.

The other patient who revealed that he worked at one of the government departments, said he spent the other day at the hospital, but could not get medication because the dispensary closed before he completed consultation.

“I was here since yesterday morning. I left the hospital after 5pm. I got some medication and I came to take the rest of the others that were not available yesterday. They had said I could only get it from the dispensary.”

At around 9:30am when The Monitor team left the hospital, the doctors had not yet arrived at the consultation rooms. Patients that finished checking temperatures and blood pressures were piling in the bench in front of the three rooms to await the doctors. After consultations, they joined the last queue at the dispensary to get prescribed medications.

There were hollows of missing parts of the ceiling in the waiting area and others are holding by three corners. Floors are well polished.

One fire extinguisher in the waiting area was due last month, one hanging at the corridor and very dusty has no date. Above the head, still on the corridor that runs from the dispensary to the admission wards, the geyser pipe cushioning foams that runs from one end to the other end were burned and hanging in some parts.

Drainage gratings were blocked with leaves and brackish water from the recent rains is trapped in various drainage ways.

There was only one rest-room within the building for all patients, both men and women, sharing. There is a block of other rest-rooms outside. In the men’s, the stench will knock you out.

The walls are dirty, spider webs have built in all the corners. There are also two urinaries functioning well, two toilet rooms with the other out of service.

Efforts to source some answers at the facility were not fruitful as the team was sent from pillar to post.

After persisting efforts, the team was refered to the hospital public relations officer who was absent in Gaborone, and said she will only be available today (Monday). The late Lady Ruth Khama opened the hospital in 1970.




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