Joburg water crisis could lead to outbreak of infections in hospitals

Joburg water crisis could lead to outbreak of infections in hospitals

Nursing union Denosa has warned that the erratic water supply in Johannesburg could lead to an outbreak of infections in patients and staff at health facilities.

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The water outages has had an impact on services at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Clinic and the Helen Joseph Hospital.

Denosa’s Gauteng chairperson Bongani Mazibuko said unsanitary conditions at hospitals could lead to serious infections.

“Denosa is made aware that some staff members at Helen Joseph Hospital have reportedly been infected with gastroenteritis which could be caused by, amongst other things, viruses, bacteria or bacterial poisoning.

“This places the general hygiene of the facilities to serious question, not to mention the inconvenience to patients who often have to travel lengthier distances to relieve themselves in toilets.”

He says the water shortages is especially tough on nurses.

“Nurses often have to carry water on buckets from wherever it is to the wards, which is not their scope of practice and is an additional work.

“In the times when the government is not willing to adjust the salaries of public servants, Denosa does not think it's a good idea for its members to risk their careers for acting outside their scope of practice.

“Workers may not even get paid if they get injured on duty while carrying water. “

This while Joburg Water spokesperson Puleng Mopeli says reservoirs in the city remain low to empty.

“The bulk supplier is currently operating at full capacity however their systems remain under tremendous strain.

“Various Johannesburg Water infrastructure (reservoirs and towers) are low to empty due to the Rand Water implementation of stage 2 restrictions.”


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