Recent rains left pools of stagnant water causing hardship to patients
The recent spell of rains in the city saw the road in front of the paediatric intensive care unit at the Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital (KMC) getting water-logged for a number of days. Though construction work is in progress, the stagnant water was a cause of concern for patients and their families in the waiting area outside the paediatric ward.
Pavitra Rajan, who recently delivered a baby here, had come to the neonatal ward for a check-up. Carrying her 18-day-old baby in her arms, she said: “Pregnant women and those with infants come here everyday. It is not safe for them especially in the night as they can slip and fall in the water,” she said. Given the low immunity of newborns, they are also at an increased risk of exposure to infection.
The stagnant pools of water also caused problems for families in the waiting area, since they used the road frequently to get supplies from outside the hospital. Saraswathi, a family member of a patient admitted to the hospital said, “As this is a low-level area, water stagnates. There are mosquitoes as well because of the stagnant water.”
The hospital was recently sanctioned Rs. 1.8 crore by the government to upgrade its facilities. According to a Public Works Department official at KMC, work on concretising the roads is in progress. “We have completed the stormwater drain laying work in the women’s hostel area. We have now started with laying concrete roads near the PWD office and work has begun near the mortuary. We will concretise the road in the hostel area. Later, work will be taken up on the hospital campus.”
When asked why they did not begin work from the hospital area, he replied, “The hospital is at a higher level than the other areas. So we are working our way upwards.” The work that began mid-June, is estimated to be complete by August-end. Referring to temporary solutions, he said, “Until the work is completed, every time there is a heavy shower and slush forms, we will cover the potholes with debris.”
While the large potholes near the second entrance of the hospital have been covered with debris, those near the paediatric ward and the Antiretroviral Therapy centre continued to accumulate water for some days.
Some names have been changed