Patients with contagious diseases are sharing wards with other in-patients at Princes Marina Hospital because there is a serious shortage of space ÔÇô Health Minister, Sheilah Tlou, told parliament this week.
Although an isolation ward was provided as part of the Princess Marina Hospital upgrading ten years ago, “at the height of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, there was an acute shortage of space in the hospital, so in 2002 this isolation ward was temporarily converted into the Infectious Disease Care Clinic with the introduction of the ARV programme.
Otherwise there was literally no space to start the programme.”
Tlou explained that as a temporary measure, the hospital had identified rooms in different wards, which are being used as isolation units for communicable diseases like drug resistant TB.
“Our plan is to have the ARV treatment programme vacate the isolation ward and move to the old dental clinic in about four months. Furthermore, plans and mobilization of funds for the construction of a purpose designed TB ward, with appropriate isolation rooms at the Health Centre in extension 12 are at an advanced stage.”
Tlou was answering a question from the Member of Parliament for Gaborone Central, Dumelang Saleshando, who had asked why provision had not been made for an isolation unit within the medical ward of the Princess Marina Hospital for patients with contagious diseases.