Sewage floods maternity ward at National Hospital

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The hallways of the National District Hospital were filled with murky brown sewage late on Friday

The stench of sewage was unbearable at the maternity ward of the National District Hospital late on Friday affecting the important first moments between some mothers and their newborn babies.

Sewage water flooded the floors of the ward at the hospital in Willows late yesterday resulting in staff and visitors evacuating the premises before it was cleaned.

Courant received photos of staff members exiting the building from windows while others looked on from the outside as hallways were filled with murky brown water.
Numerous women are assisted through labour at the facility while post-partum patients and their babies are housed there on a daily basis.

A medical staff member being helped out of the maternity ward through a window

However, Free State Health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi, said no patients were directly affected by the incident. “No patients were affected as the floor was immediately cleaned,” he said.

Department of Health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi explained that the floors were cleaned immediately after the sewage flooding

The incident was a result of routine maintenance when sewage overflowed from one of the bathrooms at the health facility, according to the spokesperson. “The maintenance personnel were unblocking the drain pipes behind the maternity ward at National District Hospital when a backflow of sewage occurred in the bathroom and flowed into the corridor,” said Mvambi.

The hospital is currently going through a renovation process in order to improve its aging infrastructure. “National District Hospital is 130 years old and is now a site of major refurbishments since 2017 which will end by 2020,” explained Mvambi.

“We are pleading with the community to please bear with us as the infrastructure is old and we are in the midst of a massive revitalization plan and still rendering the services that the community desperately needs, ” said Health MEC Montseng Tsiu. -Nomaqhawe Mtebele nomaqhawe@mahareng.co.za