KZN hospital infested by pests
King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban is infested by mosquitoes, rats and cockroaches, according to a report on Friday.
The Mercury reported that patients said they were kept awake by mosquitoes, and that newborn babies were prey to the blood-suckers. Rat droppings were also found under beds in some wards.
KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo told the newspaper the conditions were not a serious concern.
"They (mosquitoes) are just causing a nuisance and they cannot cause malaria they won't infect anyone with disease."
Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA provincial secretary Cassim Lekhoathi disagreed.
"Mosquitoes can cause various diseases.... Babies are also vulnerable because of their low immune system."
Stagnant water in a disused swimming pool at the hospital was believed to be the cause of the mosquito problem.
Rats and cockroaches were apparently attracted by bags of uncollected refuse, including used bandages and hospital waste, outside many wards.
Provincial health department spokesman Chris Maxon said the problem was being addressed.
"King Edward hospital has a contracted pest control company that deals with fumigation and the control of insects and pests."
The old swimming pool and nurses' accommodation would be renovated, he said.