The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday issued specific directions to the state government,Civil Hospital and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to ensure the epidemic situation that prevailed in 2011 and 2012 during monsoon does not occur this year.
The HCs directions came on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by social worker Ila Pathak in 2011 after a few junior doctors and nursing staff members of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital died of dengue and such vector-borne diseases due to unhygienic conditions at the hostel inside the hospital campus.
Stating that its order should not be taken lightly and be strictly complied with,the court also ordered the authorities to file a compliance report in this regard by June 13,when the matter will be heard next.
After the PIL was filed,the court had appointed a committee of nine experts headed by Dr Dileep Mavlankar,Dean (Academics) of Indian Institute of Public Health,to assist it in the matter.
The committee had given various suggestions to improve the hygiene and sanitation at the Civil hospital in specific and Ahmedabad city in particular. Based on these suggestions,the court has given a range of directions to the authorities,which include:
Formation of a team which can be held liable if it is found that adequate steps were not taken for keeping the Civil Hospital campus in a hygienic condition. It will include one entomologist/zoologist trained in mosquito control,sanitary inspectors and field workers,among others.
Formation of a team for maintaining sanitation in the vast Civil Hospital campus.
Two teams having powers to impose appropriate fine and punish the individuals found throwing garbage or spitting or smoking within the hospital campus.
Formation of a team by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation that would visit its schools during the summer vacation to inspect premises and overhead tanks and water coolers,if any,and ensure they are clean.
State government and AMC to educate slum-dwellers about the epidemic and on mosquito control.
Civil Hospital authorities to make sure that around 2,000 labourers working in its campus do not take bath or answer natures call in open.
Civil Hospital directed to keep adequate stock of medicines for the purpose of treating patients suffering from malaria,dengue and falciparum. There was one phase when the hospital did not have medicines for these illnesses and patients were forced to buy the same from private medical stores.
All sites of public construction to be inspected before June 1 to ensure that all pits,excavations and ditches are filled up.
The court also asked the state government and the municipal corporation to …ensure that this year they should not lose the confidence of the resident doctors,the nursing staff etc. If the government is unable to repose confidence in the resident doctors and nursing staff who treat the patients,then it will spell disaster for the poor patients.