Not all is well at the Regional Mental Hospital at Yerawada where 27 inmates suffered from bouts of loose motions and vomiting over the weekend. While most of them are stable now, a 54-year-old inmate suffering from schizophrenia has died.
However, the cause of death will be ascertained only after a post-mortem examination, said Dr Kanchan Jagtap, joint director in health department who visited the hospital on Monday following complaints of some of the inmates being unwell.
The problem of lack of sanitation and hygiene still ails the hospital and authorities admitted that the water tanks were unclean and there was leakage in the pipelines. “Clearly, there is a lack of hygiene and sanitation at the hospital,” Jagtap said.
Samples of drinking water at the wards and samples of the unwell patients’ stools have been sent for tests at the public health laboratory, where officials said water samples were found to be contaminated.
Jagtap said immediate steps were being taken to check chlorination in the water.
All the 27 inmates affected were from ward number 1. H H Chavan, deputy director at the state’s health department (Pune circle), said immediate measures were being taken to treat all the patients.
In the first week of June, some inmates from ward number 2 and 3 were affected by bouts of loose motions and two of them later died. However, post-mortem reports showed that both had associated illnesses, Dr B Donglikar, Medical Superintendent of the hospital told Newsline.
According to Donglikar, there are 176 water tanks, which were being cleaned up. Water is supplied from the Pune Municipal Corporation.
Meanwhile, activist Sanjay Dabhade of NGO Jan Arogya Manch has demanded a detailed investigation into sudden deaths at the hospital. “There are some psychiatrists who are on the state government pay rolls but attend duty for a brief period and then leave for their private clinics,” he said.
Former medical officers with the hospital said water filters were non-functional and patients drank water from pots placed in the wards.