Ombudsman Commission’s intervention in response to a report by the National Newspaper on August 1, 2023, reported critical issues related to water shortages and disruptions in medical operations at Kwikila Interim Provincial Hospital (KIPH).
To address these concerns, a team from the Ombudsman Commission’s Southern Regional Office conducted an inspection on August 3, 2023.
The National Newspaper reported ongoing water shortage problems at KIPH, causing significant disruptions to hospital operations. The hospital had been grappling with a severe water shortage since July 2023, which impacted patient care, particularly in maternity and surgical procedures.
The hospital also suspended non-emergency services due to the water crisis, raising alarming concerns about hygiene and the potential spread of diseases.
The inspection conducted by the OC uncovered several critical findings such as:
- The hospital had endured a water shortage for a period of two months prior to the report.
- Patients were obligated to bring 20 litres of water, not the reported 2 litres.
- The water scarcity issue has persisted for over 15 years.
- Allegations emerged regarding the utilization of public funds earmarked for PSIPs and DSIPs.
- Violations of the Public Hospital Act 1994 were evident.
This inspection highlighted the neglect of administrative responsibilities and the prolonged deprivation of basic healthcare services for the people of Central Province, spanning over 15 years. Such neglect raises significant concerns about the violation of fundamental human rights and the failure to treat individuals fairly and respectfully.
Additionally, healthcare workers face formidable challenges due to the water shortage, giving rise to fears of increased infections and diseases.
In light of the findings, the Commission has met with the Member for Rigo Open, Hon Ano Pala, the Governor for Central Province and CEO of Central Provincial Health Authority to discuss the issues and a way forward.