Pregnant women, newborns prone to fatal diseases at maternity hospital Anantnag

In the lone maternity and childcare hospital of south Kashmir, the pregnant women and newborns are being exposed to life-threatening diseases.

Reason: The operation theatre of the facility upgraded to the associated hospital of Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag is operating in unhygienic conditions.

“Doctors, as well as the patients, are made to use the OT dresses procured by the hospital administration decades back. The dress is worn out and is not even autoclaved thus exposing both to various infections,” said a doctor.

He said there is no proper mechanism for waste- disposal in the theatre. “The segregation of waste material is important to prevent the spread of infections like Hepatitis C and HIV but here gauze, plastic, sharps and other general wastes are dumped in the same bin and then lifted from here by the sweepers,” a doctor said.

Ideally, the scrub station of the theatre should be just outside the theatre but here it is placed inside. There are only two sinks and they are not cleaned at all and hence stink, he said.

“The linen used to drape the pregnant woman and the new-born is decades old and is not even sterilized,” another doctor said.

He said ideally disposable linen should have been available in the theatre but it is not to be.

“The surgical instruments used during procedures are obsolete and should have been discarded by now but doctors have no choice but to use the same while performing surgeries,” the doctor said.

He said even the switcher material available for surgery purpose is obsolete.

“The anaesthetists don’t have proper work station – don’t have the facility for self-ventilation and thus have to rely on old anaesthesia machines only.”

The operation tables should have been multipurpose which could be adjusted to make patients comfortable but here they are old and rust-eaten.

The worst, this hospital theatre is the only one where a gas heater is put to use.

Medical Superintendent (MS) of the hospital Dr Mir Ji Andrabi while acknowledging the lack of basic infrastructure in the hospital said, “All the issues can be addressed once we have a proper building to operate in.”

He said he will take up the issue of shifting the hospital to GMC Anantnag associated hospital premises till the work on new maternity hospital is accomplished.

Principal GMC Anantnag, Dr Showkat Jeelani said, “Yes the theatre of the hospital lacks proper hygiene but since the GMC took over we are trying to improve its condition.”

He, however, said the lack of adequate space in the hospital is hampering its overall functioning.