First the story.
It’s been a roller coaster ride setting up PhysioCraft’s neuro-rehabilitation/physiotherapy in-patient/physical rehab home in Abuja. One of the things I thought we had sorted was infection control and cleanliness. During our weekly staff review meetings and trainings, we had discussed extensively about the importance of cleanliness and implication of infection to the staff, the clients and also the community at large. I mean we spent a significant amount of time discussing this and afterwards kept reminding each other and reinforcing our protocol so much so that “sterilize” and “international standard” became a tease word amongst our staff. To give an idea of measures we have in place, per our BASIC precautions in our infection control and cleanliness protocol, see below:
- Take of all outside shoes at the doorway
- Use hand sanitizer before crossing our barrier line
- Use hand santizer at doorway before going in to client’s room
- Clean all surfaces between patient contact
- Return all items to place after use
- Clean rooms thrice a day
- Empty bins after each diaper change
- All bins must be empty at night
- Adhere to the gloves use and disposal guide
- Follow the daily, weekly and bi-weekly cleaing schedule for rooms, store, cupboards, windows
- E.T.C, E.T.C
So I was pretty confident that we had it all sorted. Fast forward to our first review meeting with a client. She gave us excellent marks as per the quality of service, the ambience and the pace of her recovery. Then came the “BUT”… “I think you people need to be cleaner and be more infection conscious”
My head did “gbagaun”
I took a deep breath, and asked “how do you mean ma’m?”
“You need to talk to the aide. He needs to be more careful in handling my food”. After asking for more clarity, She explained that she asked that her food needs to be handled with extra special care and she has texplained to the aide so he won’t do it again.
So I called the aide, “Ngbo, Mr Man, what happened?”
With a look of mischief, he said to me in Nigerian pidgin english “Oh, she talk say make I STERILIZE her banana”
Uh. Even I was bewildered. What does that mean? Sterilised banana.
“Madam” he laughed, “she said I should always wash her banana before we serve it to her”
Next, lesson learnt:
While best practice and international standard hygeine protocol’s may be in place at PhysioCraft neuro-rehabilitation/physical rehab center in Abuja, signs of cleanliness and infection control can still be subjective.