Pigs find digs in this hospital

It is a porcine fantasy with filth, garbage and malodorous environs

porcine fantasy: Pigs have their habitat for a long time in the compound of the Koppal District Hospital. DH Photo

But then which sane person would associate freely roaming pigs, myriad pools of stagnant, dirty water and overpowering stench with a hospital?

And yet, such horrifying conditions are a fact of life at the District General Hospital.
But, in Koppal, headquarters of the district carved out of Raichur, anything is possible.
For instance, in a stone’s throw is the Town Muncipal Council office. And right outside the office, sewage black as sin overflows from a choked drain.

As for the hospital, the district health committee receives grants every year, and yet does not seem to spend a pie on the environmental sanitation in and around the hospital.
Such are the horrendous conditions in the hospital, that patients and their attendants consider themselves lucky if they do not contract fresh diseases and infections other than for which they come to the hospital for treatment.

The wards stink to high heavens, and the dirt and filth makes one throw up. Within the compound of the hospital is located the office of the Taluk Health Officer.

Also located on the premises is a sanatorium for TB patients. And the hospital gets Rs five lakh every year under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHA) as grant.
Of the grant, Rs one lakh is untied funds, according to Dr C B Basavaraj,District Health and Family Welfare Officer.

The grant also includes Rs 1.5 lakh for building upkeep, Rs 1.5 lakh for buying medicine and medical equipment. The rest of the grant can be used for emergency purposes.
Furthermore, Dr Basavaraj concedes that the hospital maintenance is  taken care of by the District Surgeon in charge.

The hospital does hire contractors every year to take care of sanitation in the hospital.
This year, a Bellary firm, Balaji Securities have been contracted for the purpose, with the payout being Rs 59,800 a month, according to District Surgeon Dr. Lakshminarayan.
Besides the grant, the hospital levies charges on the patients for various services.

Each month, the collection amounts to about Rs 2,000, and this money too is paid to the sanitation contractor, says Dr Lakshminarayan. In other words, there is no dearth of funds for sanitation, including the untied funds.

The new Deputy Commissioner, Tulasi Maddineni also happens to be the district Health committee chairperson. Maddineni, who took over a week ago, says she has already visited the hospital and will take steps to improve the conditions.  The people of Koppal are waiting, with bated breath, some hope and much scepticism.

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