Health officials in Dominica are expressing concern over an infestation of “Bedbugs” at the Glover and Imray wards of the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).
“I can confirm to you that we have this infestation of bedbugs at the hospital and to compound the matter we also have a serious problem of termites also,” a senior health official who is knowledgeable about the situation told DNO.
The official preferred to remain anonymous.
According to the health official, there are supposed to be routine and regular clean ups of the wards but since they are always over-booked, this is impossible and the problem went undetected.
“People are taking their family linen home for washing and are finding bedbugs in them…the nurses have also to be very careful,” the official said. “The ideal thing is that the hospital provide the linen and it has to be washed at a certain temperature but we don’t have the money and we can’t provide bed linen and so have to rely on people bringing bed linen from their homes.”
The official said it all has to do with the lack of finance.
“We are just strapped for that and I am very concerned,” the health official stated.
Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans.
Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.
Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.
Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding.
Although bedbugs are a nuisance, they do not transmit diseases.
Last year, the Marigot Hospital was closed due to an infestation of termites.