While these children are underfed in their homes, they are no better off at Cottage Hospital in Jawhar.
The hospital floors are strewn with waste as there are no dustbins, the smell of urine emanates from wards, as bed sheets are not replaced. Medical waste such as syringes, blood stained cotton wads are also thrown in an open cardboard box.
However, the hospital saw a furious clean-up drive on Saturday, with many workers cleaning the windows, grills being put up at windows, floors being swept and medical waste being disposed separately.
For those who think that these measures were being carried out, after the hospital had a change of heart, think again.
The spring-cleaning measures were being carried out for the sake of the ministers, who were scheduled to visit the hospital yesterday. State Tribal Welfare Affairs Minister Madhukar Pichad and State Minister for Tribal Welfare and Development Rajendra Gavit visited the hospital on Sunday to assess the situation.
According to doctors at the hospital, the measures, though welcome, were causing more inconvenience as work like installing grills were being carried out without the children being shifted. “Malnourished children have very low immunity and are prone to infection, but still no care was taken.”
When asked about the method of disposing medical waste, Dr Ramdas Marad, hospital superintendent said, “We have tied up with a Boisar-based company to segregate wet, dry and medical waste as per norms. We have such separate collection boxes kept in the emergency and other wards. Additionally, training is given to the nurses and ward boys.”
When informed about the unsafe practice in the ward, he said, “I will check.”