KARACHI: Major government-run hospitals of Karachi are in urgent need of proper sanitary sewerage system and hygienic conditions to protect the patients, staff and attendants from infectious diseases.
Two major government-run facilities, Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) and Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) direly need an effective infection control strategy through improved cleanliness and better sanitary conditions that would also better their public image and restore confidence of patients in them. Poor cleanliness and choked sewerage system at the government hospitals are depicting a sorry picture of the state of affairs at these healthcare facilities. A visit of these hospitals would tell volumes about the lack of seriousness of administration towards hygienic and sanitary conditions which care the tertiary medical care needs of not only people of Karachi but also of whole Sindh province.
These government hospitals have been in poor hygienic condition from last many years. The CHK and JPMC hospitals receive thousands of patients in daily in their OPDs and emergency wards. However, sanitary and cluelessness in their inner streets, hallways and also in some wards is a grave threat for the admitted patients and their attendants, as well as, medical staff serving there. The chocked gutter and leaking pipes in these hospitals are a main hindrance in creating a germ-free atmosphere at these healthcares.
The traditional apathy of public is also seen during the visit of these hospitals as different wards, washrooms and staircases are extremely dirty due to spit-marks of paan and gutka. The wall chalking with slogans of political parties are also visible almost anywhere inside these healthcare centers. The stray dogs and cats could also be seen near wards and canteens. Vendors of tea and juices, hawkers and beggars freely roan in the premises of these hospitals showing the lack seriousness of the administration.
However, sanitation situation at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and National Institute of Child Health (NICH) is comparatively better but still not at per standard of good hospitals. President Infection Control Society of Pakistan (ICSP) Dr Muhammad Rafeeq Khanani, when contacted, said sewerage water is major breading point for mosquitoes and houseflies which may cause infectious diseases among patients and attendants.
He said it is unfortunate that sewerage system in major hospitals like CHK and JMPC could not be maintained properly for past several years. He said there is also high risk of spread of malaria and other vector diseases in visiting OPD patients and attendants. He said that houseflies may also further aggravate the infection of a patient admitted in hospital as virus and germs develop anti-biotic resistance in these conditions which might affects healthy people too.
He urged the government and hospitals administrations to improve the standard of cleanliness and take steps for dewatering of overflowing gutter water to avert from diseases. Senior leader of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Dr Shershah Syed held the hospital administrations and government responsible for poor cleanliness and failure of sewerage systems in healthcare centers. He said huge burden of patients at these hospitals is also an important factor behind poor hygienic situation there. He urged the authorities concerned to pay special attention on public health to prevent them from infectious diseases and maintain the healthcare centers tidy and clean.
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