Here’s what a visitor to Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos where visitors’ toilet is the bush near Combined Clinics and Ward.
“Sometimes, I stepped on the faeces of other people and the smell in that place is horrible. But what I do is to drop my own, and cover it up with tissue paper before leaving.”
Apparently Gbagada General Hospital used to have toilet for visitors, this was shut a while ago because it was always soiled.
This is my point about our general attitude to sanitation and personal hygiene. If a big hospital such as this decided to close down toilet facilities for visitors staying with their ailing family, where do you suppose they’d ease themselves?
For a hospital, why would anyone bothered to have water cistern toilet for visitors’ use if there is no water to flush? Having a simple pit like this one would have done the same job as it is low maintenance as less water is required for cleaning.
Lack of visitors’ toilet is not peculiar to Gbagada General Hospital alone, it is the same with OAU Teaching Hospital Ile Ife, this is given my sister’s experience a few years ago. Shut put to the bush is all too common with visitors to public hospitals.
Although, this sounds disturbing given hospitals is meant to be a place to get better, however the reality is that as a nation we have terrible attitude towards adequate provision of toilet facilities. This is all too clear from home (especially in rural ares)/public schools/places of worship/market places.
Here we share similar story with India, they too have a huge problem with public defecation and lack of toilets in homes and public places. Their government seems to be keen about raising awareness and doing something about it, here.
I hope that Punch article about Gbagada hospital hits some nerves – maybe we’ll read about improvement soon.
PS: Good news that a few days after Gbagada General Hospital was exposed they have made efforts to re open the locked visitors’ toilet also provided temporary mobile toilets for visitors.