THE PRESIDENT of the Junior Doctors Association, Dr Mbulelo Diba, says water is a basic need that is used to clean floors, for staff to wash their hands, the flushing of toilets and has many other uses.

The fact this clinic does not have water – and consequently toilets are out of order – indicates “poor planning when the hospital was built because health facilities are meant to be functional at all times”, he said.

This newly opened hospital’s lack of water and use of toilets also means that cleaners will not be able to keep the place hygienic and, since they use water in combination with cleaning chemicals to sterilise the clinic’s floors – considering the fact that it looks after sick people – bacteria is likely to be a problem.

With regard to the toilets, Diba said the fact that they could not be flushed would allow bacteria to spread. Nurses are meant to wash their hands after treating each patient and, because of the problems, may take bacteria back to their homes.

Again, with such a problem, health providers have increased the transmission of diseases from one patient to the next.

“They need to have an alternative water supply in case the municipality fails them in any way,” he said. – Essence Tsuma.