Residents/patients decry state of La Parfaite Harmonie Health Centre
… regional administration says NDC ‘assists’ in maintenance
Water, sanitation, hygiene services and safe healthcare waste management in healthcare facilities are fundamental for the provision of quality and people-centred care according to the World Health Organisation. However, that is not the case at
the La Parfaite Harmonie Health Centre.
Such services also reduce healthcare associated infections, chemical hazards and risks to the community. They also increase trust and uptake of health services, increase efficiency and decrease cost of service delivery and improve staff morale.
The residents and patients accessing services at the La Parfaite Harmonie Health Centre are complaining bitterly about the condition of the washroom facilities, water access and the general bushy compound. In addition, patients are complaining about the level of healthcare they receive, saying the staff at the facility are never on time and when they do arrive to work, they take at least one
hour before they begin attending to patients.
When this publication visited the health-care facility on Tuesday, it was observed that the grass in the yard was overgrown, measuring as high as approximately three feet in some areas. The washroom stall has no door, the toilet does not flush and overgrown grass is slowly creeping into the stall.
In addition to a bushy compound, there is garbage at the back of the yard that was poorly disposed of – an attempt to burn the garbage was visible but most of it was not destroyed by the fire. Also, there are no rubbish bins in the compound of the facility. The water tank and trestle is surrounded by bushy vegetation, with no water flowing through the standpipe in the front of the yard.
“I am coming here for six months now with my baby and for that time, this yard has not been cleaned, the bush is too much and then we don’t have proper washroom and mosquitoes is full here,” one of the residents related.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, lambasted the authorities for allowing the only health centre in the housing scheme to degrade to such a degree.
Nearby resident, Jennifer Singh, told Guyana Times that the current situation at the health centre is better than it previously was. She said the authorities would allow the grass to grow, often times completely covering the walkway, and noted that the door of the washroom facility fell off over a year ago.
She also took a jab at the nurses, stating that quite often, they would have pregnant mothers, as well as those with their infants, waiting for hours before the nurses would begin tending to them.
The facility provides antenatal and post-natal care, infant clinic, outpatient clinic and family planning services.
When contacted, Regional Executive Officer Dennis Jaikarran said the region is not responsible for the La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Scheme, since it is still under the control of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA). However, he stated that the Malgre Tout/Meer-Zorgen Neighbourhood Democratic
Council (NDC) would assist in clearing the compound of the health-care facility, adding that he is unaware of the present condition of the facility.
Repeated called to the Malgre Tout/Meer-Zorgen NDC went unanswered.
In addition to the poor state of the health centre, residents have to deal with the rapidly deteriorating roads in the housing settlement. In some streets, there are potholes as deep as four feet. Several residents say they are tired of Government making promises and not acting on them.
They noted that they are the ones suffering since whenever it rains, the potholes are filled with water and taxis refuse to traverse the areas and if they do, then they charge double or even triple the regular fare.
Earlier this year, Junior Communities Minister Valarie Adams-Yearwood had promised that the roads in the area would be upgraded.
“We are doing road upgrades at Parfaite Harmonie and West Minster and those works will commence in about two weeks, and through the reformulated [Inter-Development Bank] IDB loan in 2018 we are going to spend over $500 million to do upgrade works in Parfaite,” the Minister had said.
“I know they (residents) have been complaining about the state of the roads. We are paying attention and we are listening to people and while we can’t deal with everything immediately, we are paying attention to the ones that are more critical,” she added.