The Nkolndongo District Hospital still abandoned
Three months after the report of the abandonment of construction work on the new premises of the Nkolndongo district hospital by the Repères newspaper, nothing has changed on this site and the hospital structure remains a shadow of itself.The construction site of the R + 2 building to house the new hospital premises, abandoned for several months, has not resumed. The project contained in the public investment budget for 2018 has seen, in 4 years, only 30% of the work achievement rate. In March 2021, the successful tenderer Tami SARL abandoned the site after summons from the Minister of Public Health, Manaouda Malachie, ordering him to stop work for delay in completion. To date, no hammer blow has been felt on the site. Aggregates such as: gravel, concrete blocks, wood abandoned on the site, are at the mercy of bad weather. The sand is gradually drained by rainwater. The scrap metal is consumed by rust due to its abandonment in the open air and to the great happiness of the torrential rains.
The users and the nursing staff who were waiting to see this site come to an end and its commissioning, have only their eyes to cry on. The non-completion of the work plunges the hospital and all of its departments into a state of disconcerting disgrace. According to hospital officials, the real problem lies in the lack of space to cope with the flow of patients received. The demolition of one of the hospital buildings to make room for the construction of the new building has exacerbated the situation and the stoppage of work is paying heavy prices to the hospital.
In the maternity ward, the neonatal resuscitation room is almost non-existent, the same for the consultation room for obstetrician gynecologists. Medical imaging and gynecological consultation services are combined in the same room. In these departments, two benches serve as a waiting room for both women attending antenatal care and women having an appointment with the gynecologist. The same space also serves as a waiting area for people who have come to visit women who have given birth.
At Nkolndongo HD, the mother-to-child transmission prevention service (PMTCT) has no premises. The tiny reception hall houses three departments: the patient reception, the prenatal consultation room and the mother and child care department. It is in this extremely cramped space that doctors see and care for pregnant women with HIV. To the far right of this hospital compound, we see a building constructed of makeshift materials with an aging appearance. It is subdivided into two small rooms which house the patient observation services for management cases on the one hand and for evacuation cases on the other. The small size of the rooms offers space for 8 beds only, 4 for women and 4 for men. Those in charge of this hospital training indicate that they have the beds, but cannot put them into service due to lack of space.
The HD laboratory in Nkolndongo is also experiencing the earthquake of this promiscuity. The laboratory service acts as a medical laboratory and a sampling room. The results waiting room located in the same room is extremely small. During busy times, the hospital struggles to contain the flow of patients. The situation is all the more critical during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The respect of barrier measures, in particular the distance between people is flouted. To satisfy users as quickly as possible, the Director takes care of the signing of documents such as medical certificates in order to free up space in the waiting room and the doctors take care of the care of the sick. Besides this promiscuity, the HD of Nkolndongo also faces the problem of toilet. This dilapidated enclosure, which looks like a dumping ground shared by women and men, needs to be rehabilitated and split in two; one for women and one for men. But also, these toilets require to be cleared. A situation that the top management of the hospital is gradually resolving, we learn.The Headmaster’s cry of distress
In a message to the Minister of Public Health, the Director of the Nkolndongo District Hospital, Dr Joseph Guékémé, invites him to look into the case of the construction site of the new Nkolndongo HD. An abandoned site which imposes a gloomy working atmosphere. “Minister, Nkolndongo district hospital has been in a sorry state for several years. Located in the district of Yaoundé 5, in the heart of the political capital, the decor displayed by our hospital training is bleak for a hospital in the capital. The disconcerting promiscuity in which the patients are taken care of leaves much to be desired. Mr. Minister, the HD of Nkolndongo, which was once a district hospital worthy of the name, is no more than a shadow of itself. The lack of a workspace makes it necessary to combine services in cramped rooms. An unfavorable situation for the care of patients and even less for their recovery. Healthcare workers are now paying the price for this dire situation. The work on the new building to house the hospital services, which had caused patients and nursing staff to languish the day after the work began, has given way to sadness and desolation. Minister, the situation has been going on for 4 years and so far we hardly see the end of the tunnel. Our eyes are now on you; do something for the slowly dying Nkolndongo District Hospital. The nursing staff and the patients strongly hope that the work will resume its course and come to an end so that we can integrate the new premises and take better care of our patients”.