Kashmir hospitals breeding grounds of infection

Filthy Backyards Mock At Sanitation Claims

ZEHRU NISSA
Srinagar, Publish Date: Apr 21 2018 12:12AM | Updated Date: Apr 21 2018 12:12AM
Kashmir hospitals breeding grounds of infectionRepresentational Pic

The backyards of many hospitals in Kashmir continue to be used as dumping grounds for all kinds of wastes, posing threat of infection.

At SKIMS Medical College Hospital Bemina, the backyard of ward block is strewn with discarded syringes, blood stained cotton and bandages. Leftovers of food are also disposed off in the unkempt premises and most of the times the used blood bags, needles and blades land up in a single bin, often overflowing.

However, this is not the only hospital where insanitary conditions and unattended garbage remain unaddressed.

In Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura, the premier tertiary care hospital, patients visiting the OPD have to bear the stench of unhygienic washrooms.

Moreover, these washrooms have broken doors, making their use extremely inconvenient. The backyards of this hospital, that receives the highest number of patients in Kashmir, bear an unkempt look. Over grown weeds and moulds dominate the space even as the administration has been maintaining the front lawns.

In SMHS Hospital here, the largest tertiary care hospital associated with Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar, open drains right in front of the OPD block irk patients. Heaps of scrap fill the lawns. Leaking washrooms in casualty area fill the corridors with nauseating stench. And over grown weeds around hospital premises are breeding grounds of pests, and lined with dog litter.

This unhygienic condition continues even as last week top officials from health department, municipality and other departments commemorated “successful” culmination of swachta pakhwada, a fortnight event wherein “intensive cleaning of health facilities and offices along with community participation across the state was ensured.”

However, on ground the claims fall flat as litter and stench greet patients in every hospital. 

Even at much awaited super specialty hospital at Shireen Bagh, insanitary conditions are visible, right from outside the newly constructed building. A huge dump of garbage just at the gate is full of bio-medical waste. The garbage heap has become breeding ground of dogs.

At Bone and Joint Hospital, another hospital associated with GMC Srinagar, the drains have a backflow due to defunct sewerage system. As a result, the washrooms do not have free flow of water, blocking the toilets.

Hospital administrators either dismissed queries regarding insanitary conditions or cited “reasons” for garbage and unhygienic conditions.

Medical superintendent (MS) SKIMS medical college hospital Bemina, Dr Shifa Deva, claimed that the “hospital is clean and we take utmost care for waste segregation and disposal, as per colour coding.”

The MS SKIMS, Dr Farooq A Jan, agreed that toilets in OPD area required upkeep but cited load and unavailability of an alternative for not being able to do so. “We cannot repair toilets till we have an alternative, but we are in process of making new toilets,” he said.

The MS super specialty hospital, Dr Nazir Ahmed Chaudhry, said they were in the process of constructing a shed for waste dumping and “then waste dump will be moved from the gate of the hospital.”

The MS Bone and Joint Hospital, Dr Abdul Rashid Budoo, cited age of hospital building as reason for the insanitation. “Once we have a new building in place, we will have a functional sewerage system,” he said.