Unusable OTs, no fumigation for yrs at PMC-run maternity homes

Unavailabilty of operation rooms at all 14 maternity homes run by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has left these centres paralysed and is causing great inconvenience to citizens approaching these hospitals.

This year the PMC sanctioned around Rs 126 crore for the health department, but facilities at maternity homes run by the civic body remain inadequate.

Not an encouraging sight: Gloves left to dry for reuse after washing at the Sahdev Eknath Nimhan maternity home in Pashan, where ongoing construction activity has also resulted in unhygienic conditions. PICs/PrathmeshH Patil

OTs not fumigated
The Late Namdev Shivarkar Hospital at Vanawadi has an operation room, but it has not seen sterilisation for the last few years.

“It is difficult to perform deliveries with forceps as the operation theatre can not be used,” a nurse at the hospital said. “We are waiting for the fumigation for many years.”

Sahdev Eknath Nimhan maternity home

The same situation can be seen at the Savitribai Phule maternity home in Guruwar Peth, another PMC-run facility.

“The operation theatre is not functional because it needs fumigation,” Dr A M Bhoi from the Phule maternity home said. “The operation theatre has not been sterilised the last few years.”

Lack of elevators
Most of these PMC-run centres are duplex structures and maternity wards and labour rooms are situated either on the first or second floors. Non-availability of lifts at these centres makes things difficult for pregnant women.

Savitribai Phule maternity home

The Sanjay Gandhi Maternity Home in Bopodi, the Dr Homi Bhabha Maternity Home, the Namdev Shivarkar maternity home, the Savitribai Phule maternity home and the Minatai Thakray maternity home in Kondhawa have labour rooms on first floor, but lifts are not available.

Though these hospitals have been referring caesarean cases to Sassoon General Hospital and Kamla Nehru or other private hospitals, they have to tackle some emergencies during natural deliveries.

Unhealthy conditions: The Aundh Kuti maternity home, where construction work is inconveniencing the women in the wards; (left) the Savitribai Phule maternity home in Guruwar Peth has not seen the sterilisation of its operation theatre for two years

“As we are handling normal deliveries here, we haven’t faced so much difficulty due to absence of lift,” a staff member from the Minatai Thakray maternity home said. “But sometimes pregnant women find it difficult to climb the stairs.”

Hygiene a casualty
Unhygienic conditions because of ongoing renovation works and lack of adequate measures can be seen at various civic maternity homes.

Ongoing construction work at the Aundh Kuti maternity home in Aundh, the Sahadev Eknath Nimhan maternity home in Pashan and the Namdev Shivarkar maternity home has resulted in unhygienic conditions in the operation and labour rooms.

Even the labour table is not kept in hygienic condition. A visit to the labour room at the Late Sanjay Gandhi maternity home revealed a stool placed on the labour table. The labour table was kept near the open window facing the main road.

It was found that hand gloves were being reused after washing at a few maternity homes. A visit to the Sanjay Gandhi, the Sahadev Eknath Nimhan and the Aundh Kuti maternity homes revealed hand gloves left to dry after washing.

The other side
PMC deputy health officer Anjali Sabne said: “The operation theatres at the Late Namdev Shivarkar Hospital in Vanawadi and the Late Savitribai Phule maternity home in Guruwar Peth are not in use, but the number of patients visiting these centres is also very low. In Vanawadi, patients prefer the nearby military hospital. We have proposed lifts for maternity homes in the next financial year, and so many maternity homes will get a lift next year. Also, hand gloves are reusable, so we use these after cleaning in the autoclave, till they are in good condition. Unlike operation theatres, labour rooms don’t have any hard-and-fast rules and these should be kept open for good ventilation. Our staff also carries out cleaning of labour rooms as a routine procedure.” 

(With inputs from Namrata Devikar and Prathamesh Patil)

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