With no proper sanitation facilities in Vani Vilas Hospital, patients especially pregnant women often have to be subject to unhygienic conditions.
By Astha Oriel
No toilet seats, un-clean toilets, no taps and no water is a reality and an issue of hygiene for patients who visit the city’s Vani Vilas Hospital for treatment. Pregnant women, who have come for a check up in the hospital, complain about feeling sick and nauseous while using the dirty washrooms.
Sumaya, a pregnant lady who has been visiting the hospital complained, “The water is not available in the washroom for the past three days. We are either getting water from the canteen or using water from the out patient lab.”
Heena, a patient’s relative, said that for the past one week, she has not used the washroom because it is filthy. If she has no other option, only then she uses the washroom. She also said that she is afraid she will fall sick if she uses it.
The toilet has no water. Even though it has a sink, it lacks a tap. The toilet seats are broken and un-clean with excreta all over the toilet chamber. Out of the two toilets, one has a tap and the other has a bucket that might or might not have water.
The National Guidelines for Clean hospitals, 2015 which comes under Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan for hospitals states that in all the tertiary care hospitals, hospitals associated with medical colleges and super-specialty hospitals in India, the management of the hospital is responsible for the sanitation both inside and outside the hospital. It also states that sanitary departments should be formed in the hospitals for planning, organizing, directing, controlling and evaluating the sanitation program.
However, Dr. Vidya of the Vani Vilas Hospital said, “Currently, we don’t have a sanitary department in Vani Vilas Hospital. The OPD sanitation has been outsourced and one particular person is in-charge of the sanitation facility within the hospital.” She added, “We have constructed the new toilet for Pediatric OPD, but since it is not inaugurated yet, it is not open for use.”
The hospital’s Pediatric OPD is heavily packed with patients. But with the lack of proper sanitation facilities, patients feel uncomfortable using the toilet. Ms. Anupama, the senior staff nurse of the hospital said, “Since the outflow of patient is more in pediatric OPD, the toilet of this particular OPD is unclean.” She also added, “This particular toilet is being used by both public and patients, it becomes difficult to maintain it. But after 4pm, the toilets get cleaned.”
Mr. Sandeep, an environmentalist, who works for the committee of sustainable goals said, “Every department and institution, must have a public consultation mechanism that public can approach and file their complaints to,” He added that, “If the hospital don’t have proper sanitation facilities, then they are failing.”
This is not the first time that sanitation of government hospitals in India has come under the scanner. In a report by ANI, most government hospitals lack proper sanitation facilities.