Hospital staff, visitors and patients who access healthcare from the Salaga Government Hospital in the Savannah Region have resorted to open defecation due to lack of a functioning toilet at the facility, authorities have revealed.
The only toilet facility for the hospital which was constructed in 2002 under the HIPC project has deteriorated forcing, visitors to abandon it to defecate in the open around the hospital.
As a result, patients, their visitors and hospital staff including nurses, always walk about 500 metres away from the hospital daily, to defecate in the bush and around the dilapidated toilet facility.
Patients who are unable to walk either defecate in a polyethylene bag or chamber pot which is disposed of in waste bins in the hospital and around the abandoned toilet respectively.
Health authorities at the hospital have described the situation as dangerous as it puts the users of the hospital at risk of diseases.
The Health Service Administrator of the Hospital, Aloysius Bokuma, told 3news.com that the situation is worrying.
“The only toilet facility available for use by visitors is in a horrible situation which is why they don’t use it but rather resort to open defecation,” he said.
The dilapidated toilet facility at the hospital.
He attributed some of the reasons to the attitude of visitors and called for a three step radical approach to fight the menace.
“We need a three step radical approach which are; availability of infrastructure, changing the attitude of the people and ensuring regular flow of water,” he said.
A cleaner at the hospital, Bakari Akaya, explained what he goes through every morning cleaning the place.
“It is annoying the way the people defecate in polyethylene bags and throw them in the waste bins. There are faeces all over the place and is very bad,” he stated.
He added that “when I talk, people think I am mad. The hospital needs a toilet facility”.
Meanwhile, a youth group in Salaga, the Concerned Youth of Salaga, have through a self-initiative, started molding blocks to start a toilet facility for the hospital.
The Salaga government hospital is a primary health facility started around the 1960s as a small health centre. It was elevated to the status of a district hospital in in the 1970s.
Services provided at the hospital includes, paediatrics, maternity, dental, laboratory among others.
Malaria tops the daily outpatient cases recorded at the facility.