Queen Elizabeth Hospital told to replace old water pipes


The Ombudsman has ordered the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital to replace outdated water pipes at the facility saying they are contributing to infections.

The Office of the Ombudsman said this in an investigation report titled Woes of the Womb which looked into allegations of medical malpractices resulting in removal of uteruses from expectant women in public health facilities.

In the report released last week, Ombudsman Martha Chizuma noted that Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital has a lot of water leakages due to obsolete water pipes, which the Ministry of Health and Population has neglected to repair.

She said the leakages are contributing to low pressure of running water, in turn affecting general cleanliness and leading to infections at the hospital where 78 total cases of hysterectomy (removal of the womb) were recorded from January to July 2018.

“It was further observed that regular running water interruption is one of the contributing factors to maternal sepsis at Q.E.C.H,” Chizuma said in the report.

She added that despite numerous discussions between Q.E.C.H and Blantyre Water Board, the problem remains unresolved.

“Whilst appreciating the infrastructure challenges with the water pipes, according to the report from Blantyre Water Board, Q.E.C.H has not been vigilant in its plumbing repairs,” the Ombudsman said.

Chizuma recommended that the hospital should carry out plumbing maintenance at the hospital which will eradicate leakages and also reduce low water pressure problems.

She directed that the repairs should be done by 31st January, 2020.

“Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in consultation with Blantyre Water Board should explore the possibility of having dedicated water supply line in order to curb the current water supply shortage. A report of the resolution should be submitted to my office by 31st January, 2020,” Chizuma said.