Kathmandu, February 16
Inside Kathmandu’s Kanti Children’s Hospital, the wards are busier than usual. Patients, visitors, and many others in the building are falling ill and all fingers are pointed towards the dingy toilets.
Rajan Pokharel, a parent of patient at the hospital, says the toilets have an odd smell and are poorly maintained. “I didn’t feel like using them as my eyes burn when I entered the toilet,” he said.
Many share Pokharel’s view as they try to avoid the toilets at the hospital altogether. “Because of the bad smell I stayed clear of it even when I felt the need to use the toilet.”
According to the Director of Kanti Children’s Hospital, Dr Ajit Rayamajhi, the toilets are dirty because the people don’t know how to use them properly. “A number of patients and visitors forget to flush after they use the toilet,” he said.
He argued that visitors at the hospital are from different parts of the country and many of them from the economically weaker sections have never used a toilet. “The hospital alone is not responsible for keeping the toilets clean. People also should be aware of how to use it,” he said.
There are over 50 toilets in the hospital and 30 staff members are in-charge of cleaning the toilets. On a daily basis, nearly 600 patients get admitted to the hospital for treatment. Experts say unclean toilets can be the carrier of many viruses.
A version of this article appears in print on February 17, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.