COVID centre demolition lands NHM staff in trouble

Dismantling of a COVID-19 second-line treatment centre at Shankaramangalam, Chavara, has landed the officials of the National Health Mission (NHM) in the soup as they reportedly failed to follow the procedure.

Apart from Government hospitals, the furniture and other equipment at the centre were distributed among a handful of others, including charitable trusts, clubs and libraries.

District Collector Afsana Parveen on Thursday instructed the NHM to retrieve the cots and chairs handed over to private institutions and submit a report on the current stock. While known charitable trusts can keep the furniture, organisations that are not very active will have to return them.

Ahead of school opening

The district administration had deputed the NHM district programme manager to dismantle the centre at the Government Higher Secondary School and move the furniture and equipment to Government facilities ahead of the school reopening. While around 25 Government facilities, including hospitals, received furniture from the centre, the rest were distributed among shelter homes and cultural organisations without any auction.

Kept in the dark

The items at the centre set up by Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd. (KMML) and run by the Kollam district panchayat included cots, mattresses, pillows, chairs, washing machines, induction cookers and refrigerators. Both the panchayat and KMML officials said they were kept in the dark about the developments and received no communication from the NHM.

While appliances, including washing machines, refrigerators and induction cookers, were handed over to various Government facilities, a good percentage of cots and mattresses were given to private institutions.

According to NHM officials, many Government hospitals were not very keen on having low-quality wooden cots and they could not distribute the entire stock among Government facilities. They also claim that no storage space was available and the dismantling was carried out on a war footing to meet an extended deadline.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 11:02:43 AM |

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