Govt hospitals go without infection control mechanisms

Karachi: Government hospitals in Karachi and elsewhere in Sindh province badly need a proper infection control mechanism, as these hospitals themselves are filthy and littered and spread more infection than they cure.

Lack of cleanliness, sadly, is the hallmark of government hospitals in Sindh. From Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) to Civil Hospital Karachi, from Lyari General Hospital to Chandka Medical College Hospital Larkana one can see pathetic unhygienic conditions not only in toilets and washrooms, but also in wards, OPD rooms and hallways.

Strangely, every government hospital has sufficient cleaning staff and they are get ample funds in the garb of maintaining hygiene, but mostly these facilities and staff are under-utilized and funds go into the pockets of corrupt medical superintendents. In contrast the private hospitals have limited cleaning staff and less funds for maintain cleanliness and hygiene, but even so these hospitals look clean, tidy and hygienic.

The difference between private and government hospitals is of ‘management’. Private hospitals manage their resources and manpower in optimal way while the managements of government hospitals simply waste and misappropriate these resources.

A senior healthcare expert, on condition of anonymity, said more than 50 percent of cleaning staff simply do not attend their duties. He said washrooms of hospitals wards do not have facilities of soap for hand washing but in most cases they lack even proper water pipelines and taps.

Sindh health minister Mahtab Hussain Dahar, who himself is a senior doctor, should form a taskforce of healthcare experts, hospitals managers and infection control professionals to device a proper mechanism for cleanliness and infection control in all government hospitals of Sindh, particularly the teaching hospitals and ensure its proper monitoring and working through modern tools of thumb impression attendance machines, Internet, surveillance cameras and very strict hospital management.