50 years after independence, these are pictures of the ablution facilities at Ward A05 in the Paediatrics Wing of the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), the nation’s largest health facility. A05 is an isolation ward where children with contagious diseases such as typhoid are kept.

Because water is only available about half of the day, you can see for yourself the disaster that happens in the toilets and bathroom. Imagine a mother taking her sick child with diarrhoea into those filthy toilets and putting them on a toilet without a seat or cistern cover. The doors do not even close for privacy so I wonder how our mothers use them. Meanwhile the floor is dirty and has water all over. It seems this ward is there to spread diseases instead of keeping them in check.

If you are using a potty for a young child, imagine the hassle of cleaning it and being forced to handle those containers in those white bins which have been touched by so many people who may not observe proper hygiene. The bathroom cannot even lock and has broken tiles on the wall.

Other Wards like A03 and A04 are also a disaster. They routinely put 3 babies on the same bed. Imagine all the cross infections going on. The admissions ward and high cost wards are at least a little better but have no working air conditioners and no facilities for our mothers to rest. Even there, ablution facilities are bad.

Meawhile, just 50 meters away, there is a huge tank which looks like it can store enough water to supply the entire hospital. The obvious questions here are:

1. Why is UTH apparently not using the big water tank? If it is inadequate, why hasn’t UTH built a new one, considering that they are busy constructing new buildings at UTH at great cost but failing to construct new water tanks?

2. If they found money to build brand new buildings at UTH, why can’t they fix all the existing toilets and bathrooms first which is a tiny cost comparatively?

3. Why does the lab and pharmacy close at 16:00 hours and over weekends?

Sometimes I wonder why we even boast of being independent for 50 years but fail to solve basic problems.

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