Patients in the Chigateri General Hospital’s labour ward had to face some hardship when the heavy rain on Tuesday night seeped into the ward. Some of the pregnant women, who were expected to give birth within a day or two, were unable to leave the confines of the ward because of the water.

The labour ward is in an old, leaky building. The incessant rains throughout Tuesday night managed to seep in and dampened the bed sheets, which left the women awake throughout the ordeal. The attendants tried to drain the water, but the incessant rains made any efforts useless.

The attendant nursing staff and doctors on night duty pleaded helplessness and said that the rainwater had entered through the mesh erected outside the labour ward and the ceiling.

The doctors and nursing staff said that since it was a old building, having a leaky ceiling was quite natural. Hospital authorities had decided to renovate the building, they added. The staff did ensure that extra rugs and bed sheets were provided to pregnant women, and the patients were kept warm.

Members of the staff said that they had complained to higher-ups about the leakage and water incursion into the switchboards.

They maintained that they had taken extra care to ensure that no pregnant woman would fall sick from the dampness.

Sangeetha, a pregnant woman from Nanditavare village, said she experienced an electric shock when she tried to charge her mobile, because of water in the switchboard; water had seeped into all three switchboards in the room.

Another patient, Asha from Kanivebilachi village, said authorities should renovate such old buildings or at least ensure that the rain did not seep into the ward.

Others also expressed their resentment at the pathetic conditions of the ward: Savitha from Hunesekatte in Ranibennur taluk, Mala from Bidarekere, and Tasina Bhanu from Chennagiri.

They wanted the labour ward to be shifted to a newer building on the hospital premises, so that pregnant women did not have to face such inconvenience.