This maternity hospital is pregnant with woes

The maternity hospital at Austin Town, run by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), is sitting on a health disaster with mounds of garbage and large puddles of stagnant water in and around the premises of the hospital. 

A nurse at the hospital rued that the practice of residents throwing garbage right outside the hospital has been going on for years.

“The site opposite our hospital looks like a wasteland, encouraging residents to dispose garbage there. BBMP clears the garbage around 6 am, but it accumulates again within hours,” she said.

With the onset of monsoon, puddles of stagnant water is a common site, which, in turn, become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Lakshmamma (name changed), the mother of a four-month-old baby, said, “Standing water is found all around the hospital. With increasing reports of dengue, I am scared for my child as he is too young and highly prone to infection.”

“I have been coming here for six months and I have never seen this place without a garbage mound. Yes, it is risky coming here. But, we cannot afford other hospitals,” Gowri Devi, a pregnant woman, said.

The patients here are children below the age of two years and pregnant women. There is a high risk of infections for these patients. Yet, doctors are unwilling to admit that garbage and stagnant water pose a major health scare.

According to them, since the garbage is outside the hospital premises, it is not their responsibility to see that it is cleared.

However, contrary to their assertions, more garbage and water puddles, with mosquitoes breeding, were found at the rear entrance of the hospital.

Corporator Sarala Mohan claimed that the Palike was trying to prevent the stagnation by building a new road there. The work on the new road would commence at the earliest, she said.

“We clear waste once a day, but people need to change their habits and not throw garbage near the hospital. Instead, they should hand it over to garbage collectors in the morning.” She said talks were on with BBMP for an alternative garbage disposal arrangement, so that it is not thrown outside the hospital.

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