Patients in Barabanki health facilities grapple with heat and ailments
As the ceiling fan runs at snail’s pace, attendants have no choice but to use hand fans to provide relief to the patients; poor infrastructure at health facilities on the outskirts of Lucknow, reveals spot check
BARABANKI It’s a two-front battle for patients in different wards of Barabanki district hospital – they are struggling against ailment and also hot-n-humid weather. As the ceiling fan runs at snail’s pace, attendants in emergency ward-3 here have no choice but to use hand fans to provide relief to the patients!
“There is no other way out since we got Shanu, 30, admitted here for his liver problem. Doctors have advised medicine, but the heat in the ward is unbearable,” said his sister even as heavy rains lashed Lucknow district around 12 pm on Tuesday, leading to increased humidity.
A status check revealed that the heat is compounding the woes of patients as health facilities in the periphery of the state capital grapple with poor infrastructure. At least 68 people, who were admitted to UP’s Ballia district hospital in a serious condition, have died of different ailments over the past few days, with the state reeling under a sweltering heat wave.
One or two coolers are ineffective in one ward of this Barabanki hospital. Not just patients, even the paramedical staff has to bear with coolers running without water while the air conditioner installed in the burn ward is also not ‘cool enough’.
However, senior officials claim that the issue will be resolved soon. “We have bought coolers and a few air conditioners. We are sending a proposal for air conditioning of the entire complex comprising several wards,” said Dr Brajesh Kumar, chief medical superintendent, Barabanki district hospital that gets an average 1,500 patients every day in the OPD.
Patients at the Barabanki hospital are ‘luckier’ than their counterparts at the nearby Jatha Barauli community health centre (CHC), which gets power supply only for about three hours during the day. The inverter powers the tube lights and fans for another hour.
“For the rest of the time, we use gamchha (cotton towel) as fan,” said a CHC staff. A solar light is installed but it illuminates only the courtyard.
Locals say there are hardly any emergency cases here as people prefer not to drive through the potholed road to access this facility. “People can quickly reach a hospital in Lucknow instead of coming to this place,” said Shiv Shankar, a villager. The daily average count of patients in the OPD is 60 as compared to 120 in the Satrikh community health centre, just 7 kms from Jatha Barauli.
Dr Kuldeep Maurya, heading this health centre, said: “For the past two years, we have not been provided funds for fuel to run the generator. We are dependent on power stored in the battery.”
At the Satrikh CHC, it is all dust along the corridor, doctors’ chambers and even the emergency wing is partly blocked with paint cans while the staff is busy the cleaning the campus in anticipation of an inspection. Patients who came till 9.30am had no choice but to wait.
“I came to see a gynecologist. I have got the OPD slip, but the doctor is yet to arrive,” said a pregnant Sarita, who came at 9.15am from a nearby village and kept sitting on the bench in the lobby. The emergency ward had just one staff busy cleaning the room.
Doctors claim they have enough stock of medicines, but this isn’t benefiting many due to poor patient inflow in majority of the health centres because of poor infrastructure facilities.