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Health workers question cleaning of clinic

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Community health workers refuse to clean clinic.

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COMMUNITY health workers who are expected to clean the Bankara/Bodulong clinic, near Kuruman, have called for an independent occupational health and safety inspection to be done at the site.

The workers stated that following three positive Covid-19 cases being reported at the clinic, the facility has never been decontaminated and has been operating as normal.

One community health worker has refused to clean the clinic.

“A service provider was appointed to clean and disinfect the clinic in the event of infection and yet it has not been done. I do not know what kind of cleaning materials or bleach has been supplied to clean the clinic. Caregivers are supposed to care for patients and it is not in our job description to do cleaning work. Community health workers are also expected to be clerks and data capturers,” she said.

The health workers added that there was no running water at the clinic.

“The water tank is not clean and the tap does not work properly. There is no social distancing at the clinic because there are so many patients and the toilets are in a despicable condition. There is only one blood pressure machine.”

They also stated that the family members of community health workers who tested positive for Covid-19, were never tested.

“The one community health care worker lives with her aunt and four children. The second one lives with her two children and her partner, while the third health care worker stays with her four children and her husband. They were all told there are no test kits available for their families as there is a shortage of kits. Some of the health care workers suffer from chronic conditions while a few are over the age of 60 years and are supposed to stay at home.”

The provincial organiser of the SA Liberated Public Sector Workers’ Union (Salipswu), Thapelo Thole, claimed that staff members displaying Covid-19 symptoms were not placed in self-isolation and were forced to work while sick.

“Precautions are not being taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” said Thole.

The Department of Health did not respond to media enquiries.