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Filthy: A still from the video shows a colony of cockroaches below the mattress in a hospital bed.

Govandi hospital has often come under fire for lack of hygiene, poor services

A video circulated by civic health committee chairman and Shiv Sena corporator Amey Ghole has exposed a severe cockroach infestation in the labour ward of Shatabdi Hospital in Govandi. The video raises concern about the hygiene and cleanliness in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-run hospital, especially in a ward where new mothers and infants, who are prone to infections, are admitted.

The half-minute-long video shows a colony of cockroaches below the mattress of a patient’s bed. The hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr. Alka Mane, said the issue of infestation first came to light on September 18.

“BMC’s pesticide department sprays pesticides every week. They also maintain a register for the same. However, in the labour ward, the pesticide is used in a diluted form for the safety of newborn babies,” she said, adding that the diluted pesticide had been working well till now. “It seems that the cockroaches are not reacting to the diluted pesticide anymore,” Dr. Mane said.

Since the strong chemical cannot be used, the pesticide department increased the frequency of spraying in the labour ward to twice a week, but that did not rid the cockroaches either. “We have now procured an eco-friendly gel, which was applied in the ward on Tuesday. We will know if it works in a day or two,” Dr. Mane said.

Shatabdi Hospital caters largely to slum pockets in Govandi, Mankhurd, Chembur and Trombay, and has often been criticised for lack of infrastructure, services and hygiene. Dr. Mane, however, maintained that the housekeeping staff is monitored for its work regularly. “We also face a big issue with the patients’ relatives bringing outside food, storing it in lockers and not disposing off waste properly,” she said.

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