Poor sanitation in hospitals irks Minister Binagwaho

THE Minister of Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, has issued a three-month ultimatum to all hospitals in the country to have constructed enough toilets or face heavy punitive measures.
Health Minister, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho.
Health Minister, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho.

THE Minister of Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, has issued a three-month ultimatum to all hospitals in the country to have constructed enough toilets or face heavy punitive measures.

Binagwaho’s ultimatum was a result of an abrupt visit she made at Muhima Hospital and Gitega Health Centre that have a dire lack of sufficient toilets.

“Lack of toilets is a big problem, but it can be solved easily. It is clear that hospitals can afford to have enough toilets for patients. This is why I have ordered all hospitals to construct toilets.

“I have issued a three-month deadline for all hospitals in the country to have constructed standard toilets or we won’t process hospital staff’s Performance Based Financing (PBF),” warned the minister.

PBF is a financial reward given to medical practitioners based on their productivity and quality of the services they deliver.

It also serves as a motivation package and has lately improved performance and delivery among medical practitioners.

Binagwaho threatened to divert the funds to the construction of toilets.

Muhima Hospital has only two toilets that are shared by the main hospital and the nearby Health centre which currently operates with no patients’ toilets.

Binagwaho learnt about the situation at Muhima hospital from a news item published in The New Times sister newspaper, Izuba Rirashe, and decided to make an abrupt visit at the hospital.

Following the story, the hospital immediately started constructing two other toilets and by the time the minister visited the hospital, construction was underway.

Speaking to The New Times, the Director General of Muhima Hospital, Dr. Jules Mushingantahe, said the hospital is currently renovating two toilets that had broken down.

“We had four toilets, two broke down, but before the deadline elapses, we will have six toilets which are enough for the patients,” Mushingantahe pledged.

The Mayor of Nyarugenge District Solange Mukasonga, who accompanied the minister during the tour, requested the ministry’s assistance in relocating the health centre, lamenting that it cannot accord proper services to patients due to its present state.

edwin.musoni@gmail.com

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