At Osmania General Hospital, cats swarm the wards for rats

Removing rats is too expensive.

Hyderabad: Patients in Osmania General Hospital face the risk of contradicting infection from cats and even rats. The dreary condition of the hospital mortuary was brought into the limelight when face of the body of U. Madhu was eaten up by rodents on Monday night. Junior doctors say it was not just an issue of rats but cats too, which roam in the surgical wards. They claim that a large number of cats found in the intensive care unit too.

A junior doctor said, “We have repeatedly tried to bring this problem to the attention of the authorities, but failed. We try to shoo away cats and they keep coming back because of the mice. It is quite common to see cats on empty beds. We have many patients who have allergies caused by cats.”Officials say their hands were tied on this issue as the Integrity Hospital Facility Management that deals with pest control was equipped only to treat insects and bed bugs.

OGH superintendent B. Nagender said, “We can do nothing. The GHMC has washed its hands by saying they can only capture dogs and the same goes for other animal rescue organisations we contacted. Our pest control team visits all wards daily but cats keep coming back.” Hiring a professional exterminator other than the one the hospital provides would be too expensive, he added.

Mr G.S. Naidu, a professional exterminator based in Banjara Hills, said, "Operations in hospitals prove to be costly not just financially but also time wise. We charge over Rs 3,000 per 100 sq. ft and require at least two sessions. This takes at least 15 days and a busy hospital like OGH cannot have its ward empty.”

He said, “To clear rats, we place poison. This will be risky when there are medicines nearby. If the rat problem is solved, the cats will also stop coming.”A senior doctor said the presence of small animals was not a new issue. Repeated complaints had fallen on deaf ears. The superintendent reassured the hospital staff that he would find a solution to this in a week.

Cats wait for patients and their attendants for scraps of food at the OGHCats wait for patients and their attendants for scraps of food at the OGH

Unit containing body was open

An unlocked storage unit was the cause of the body of U Madhu being eaten by rats, said the preliminary inquiry conducted by Osmania Hospital. Though 32 bodies were present in the cold storage unit on Monday, Madhu’s face was mutilated by rats because the two ward boys on duty did not lock the storage unit. Superintendent B. Nagender said, “The unit was slightly ajar and we think that the rats entered through that gap. We are trying to ensure that the pest problem is sorted and have asked for a through enquiry by our pest control team.”

Suspended ward boys, Gyaneshwar and Yadagiri claimed that the rush in the mortuary must have led to their mistake. “Until 5 pm, we have doctors on duty who go to the mortuary. But after that, there is normally no one to oversee the mortuary procedures and many bodies come from adjoining districts. We have asked our postgraduate students to keep a watch over the proceedings,” said Mr Nagender. The demand for CCTV cameras in the mortuary was raised. “Rats scurry across bodies that are kept close to each other. The only difference in this case is that the rodents got to the body which has finally alerted the administration to take action,” said a junior doctor.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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