Hand Washing at E.F Small Hospital in Banjul

By Sailu Bah

Hand washing practice is now taking place at the main referral Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital (EFSTH) in Banjul for the prevention of the spread of the Ebola virus.

As the main referral hospital in the country, EFSTH receives people (patients and visitors) of all kinds and from different places and which is what prompted this reporter to visit the facility to see what forms of control are put in place to ensure the prevention and spread ogf this deadly disease which is claiming lives in the neighbouring countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.

Visiting the EFST Hospital during the weekend, this reporter has observed that people are no more using the main gate to enter the hospital as all entrants are now directed to come through the Accident and Emergency (A and E) area door of the hospital in order to undergo the hand washing process. This, according to officials, is a directive emanating from the health authorities to ensure effective screening at the hospital.

It was also observed that a machine is attached to the wall with someone standing by to assist people to wash their hands before entering the facility. A hospital worker first presses the machine to release a detergent liquid which the person uses to rub on the hands.

When asked when this practice started, a nurse said this was since last week.

Nurses were also observed to be putting on protective gloves and the movements of people within the facility are being monitored.

However, Ebola sensitization posters were not seen at strategic locations within the hospital and it is hoped that management will take note of this.