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  • Writer's pictureAnnieHartley

Week 9 - Unglamorous effluent

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Fixing a blocked drain is never a glamorous task...but fixing a blocked drain in a hospital requires passion, fortitude...and a very strong stomach.

Hospital effluent is not for the faint hearted.

In a low-resource setting like Tintswalo, adequate sanitation is often the only available resource we have to protect our patients from transmitting infections among each other.

And with approximately 40% of our patients living with HIV, it couldn't be more important.

Unfortunately, fixing plumbing costs money, meaning that most of the basins look something like this....and I won't photograph the toilets to protect your appetites.

It is such a chronic issue that when we fixed all the basins and toilets in the emergency room (thanks to YOUR DONATIONS🙏), there was a week-long procession of health staff coming to "pay homage" to the taps.

And how are these taps doing now?

WORKING: Every day, for every consultation, for the past 5 months.

That is what your donations are facilitating.

Take a moment to imagine how impactful that is.

Along with privacy, plumbing forms the backbone of patient dignity.

With all the unglamorous effluent in a hospital, hygiene is not only important to sanitation, but also to sanity.

So this week, we want to reveal some of the heroics behind this thankless task.


These jobs, that are SO time consuming and which are never quite appreciated.

Indeed, just TRY (at your own risk) telling Myelani that you can see the marks where the wall was plastered over.

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