Monday, April 22, 2024

QEH isn’t well


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Last Saturday in the wee hours of the morning, my wife and I welcomed another beautiful princess, Serenity, into the family. It was a joyous experience since it felt like we have been waiting forever for this blessing from God.
Being a father of one was indeed a tough yet rewarding full-time job, and now the arrival of number two has opened my eyes and mind to whole new concepts of discipline, planning, selflessness, time management and rest.
For almost two years now I wanted to write this article but waited until the birth of my second child to see if what I observed in the past had improved, deteriorated or was the same.
The waiting room of the labour ward, located opposite B2, needs some attention. There are three seats, which can hold three adults. I do not know how long the cushions have been there but I remember them from 20 months ago, and back then they had lost the majority of their firmness and now they are even worse. I would be bold enough to say that I don’t think that they have been washed in a year or more.
There is considerable nervousness, anxiety, excitement and stress for the expecting mummy and those on the outside waiting and giving support. The waiting area has no television, radio or reading material and the seating is outdated and inadequate.
The chairs in which the expecting mothers have to sit while they await further instructions from the nurses seem unacceptable. They have hard plastic seats and I believe they may be uncomfortable for someone in pain. I don’t think any particular chair can ease or stop the pains associated with contractions, but the comfort of these mothers-to-be is paramount.
I know there are more pressing needs at the hospital and as a result I am encouraging a company, a charity or an individual to see what they can do to improve the experience of the pregnant women and their supporters.
People have criticized me before for saying this, but I don’t care – I’ll say it again: this is one of the reasons why I need to be wealthy and why I need to get my charity registered and running. If I see a need and the necessary consultation and research are done, I will meet that need. Sorry, but I hold strongly to these words: “To whom much is given, much is required”.
In my opinion, something needs to be done about the lack, or insufficiency, of communication between nurses and those waiting outside. You sit outside for long periods of time without any communication. Imagine a first-time daddy or a grandmother or an uncle sitting in a foreign environment, surrounded by people who are just as concerned and worried as they are, and no one knows what is going on with their loved one behind closed doors. If you knock on the door, sometimes you may get a response; at other times, nothing.
I am also concerned about the tone and way in which some nurses speak to you. I know that these hard-working individuals are tired, worn-out and pressured but they need to understand that their approach and tone can either turn off or uplift an individual. Sometimes a smile, a kind gesture or an encouraging phrase like ‘You are doing well’ can go a long way. Let me say thanks to those nice nurses whom I encountered and who took good care of my wife.
Ward B3 is another problem all by itself. First of all, the place is very hot and humid and can be considered uncomfortable for some to sleep in unless your bed is by a window. Some of the ceiling panels have what looks like mould or fungus on them, which isn’t healthy for a newborn or an adult.
Above each bed is an adjustable lamp, and many of them are rusted or have sections of rust on them. Since rust flakes, this in my view is a breathing hazard. These lamps should be replaced or repainted.
As one lady who was visiting a new mother said to me, “babies in here get an opportunity to build up their immune system before going home”.
• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth youth ambassador. Email


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