As the National Open Defecation Free (ODF) task force continues to tour the 6 Cholera hit districts in the country assessing sanitation levels, institutions like hospitals are critical hotspots for an outbreak. Kasungu District Hospital is one of them. It attends to more than 2000 outpatients on a daily basis from various villages as some of the villages do not have health centers and others like Mkokotere, do not have functional ones. Therefore, people flock to the district hospital for treatment.
Along the tour, WESNet noted that the hospital’s guardian shelter’s latrines are full hence the guardians resort to defecating on the latrine’s sides, plastic bags, or just outside the premises which is about 5 meters away from the cooking area. It was also noted that the wards do not have hand washing facilities except for staff members; putting both the patients and the guardians’ health at risk of waterborne diseases.
Thanks to the dry spell that has hit the country, otherwise the rain water could have been an agent for the furtherance of the spread at the shelter with the feces littering around the premises. According the ministry of health Cholera reports, Cholera patient guardians have been the next victims. Therefore, if cholera was to break out at KDH Guardians Shelter, what would be of the patients? The pregnant women whose wards are next from the shelter? What of the damage it can cause to the 2000 that visit the hospital every day and their households? This is also why WESNet led by Mr. Chris Bokho who is the National Coordinator had to run sensitization campaigns at some of the sites that were assessed during the tour and has therefore asked stakeholders to support where necessary.