Dengue-hit staff toil at Thiruvananthapuram General Hospital

Hospital manages with half the required cleaning staff as posts lie vacant.

Thiruvananthapuram: The staff members affected by dengue at the General Hospital here are being asked to work as there is an acute shortage of employees. Senior doctors have confirmed that since many of the staff are already down with fever, those who are feeling slightly better are asked to work. The shortage of staff becomes apparent especially in the cleanliness of toilets. The toilets in the ‘fever ward,’ which several years ago was Ward No. 11, need to be cleaned. One of the patients’ relatives, Girija, said that the patients were shifted to the ward on Sunday, and there seemed to be a shortage of staff.

There are 73 vacancies of cleaning staff. This would mean 36 grade 2 attenders and 37 grade 1 attenders. Many wards are somehow managing with just half the staff, and would have just one cleaning staff during a shift. The vacancies have been reported to the PSC and the process to hire them has started, according to sources. After Health Minister K.K. Shailaja visited the hospital, the staff had worked on a mission mode, according to senior officials. An official said, “though the hospital was ready to pay Rs 800 per day to daily wages cleaning staff, even migrant labourers were not ready to work here. There was a compost pit right behind the fever ward. Now it has been moved a little far off.”

The hospital management committee has hired 10 cleaning staff, who will be joining work on Wednesday. There are 230 in-patients admitted for fever. Every bed in the new fever ward has mosquito nets. It is learnt that ward No. 8 continues to be stacked with patients. The men’s fever ward has some more space, which will be filled with more beds. In addition to the women’s fever ward, the space behind paediatric ward, which used to be medical ICU, will be used to shift the women patients.

Corporation plans house campaigns

Thiruvananthapuram Corporation will be focusing on awareness related to communicable diseases in the coming days. In a review meeting, Mayor V K Prasanth said that the Corporation’s efforts in bringing fever under control would be successful only with the support of people. There will be a house-to-house awareness campaign related to controlling various communicable diseases on Friday and Saturday. The cleanliness and health committees formed in various wards to take care of such campaigns will plan for this on Wednesday and Thursday.

The support of residents’ associations, NSS, NCC as well as sports and arts clubs has been sought. There will be advertisements in visual and print media as well as radio channels. In schools, awareness campaigns will be held with the support of PTA. Heads of various institutions will be asked to conduct cleanliness drives, failing which there will be action against them, according to a press release issued from the Mayor’s office.

Public places will be cleaned by the Corporation’s contingent workers. Fogging, spraying and house campaign carried out by the Corporation and the Health Department will continue. Notices will be issued to owners of vacant plots to clean their area. Health Standing Committee Chairman K Sreekumar, Welfare Standing Committee Chairperson R Geetha Gopal, Town Planning Chairman R Satheeshkumar, Additional DMO Neena Ravi and Corporation Secretary L S Deepa were present.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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