First of all, I complement the Govt of Bihar, led by Hon’ble Chief Minister and Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister for their tremendous efforts to tackle the Koshi devastation and serving the precious lives of lakhs of marooned and hapless humality in the flood affected districts. In these hours of crisis and testing times, I wish to draw your kind attention on the following critical problem areas which require urgent Govt. intervention to save millions of human lives:
Sir, with the striking of this Koshi Tsunami in the eastern distrcts of Bihar, now there is a medical emergency in flood affected areas. And the nodal points of solving all disease and epidemics problem in each district- the Sadar Hospitals in district headquarters of Saharsa, Madhepura, Supaul, Araria, Purnia and other districts are in extremely bad shape, poorly staffed, ill managed and with no modern hospital infrastructure facility.
There are extremely few doctors in all sadar hospitals, highly insufficient to handle thousands of medical cases pouring out daily. There is urgent need to post or depute large number doctors / specialist consultants of all major specialities particularly Gynaecology, Orthopaededics, General Medicine, Paediatics, Neonatology, Urology and Nephology, Cardiology, General Surgery, Skin specialists, Pathology, Radiology, Gastroenterology etc. in each district hospital of the flood ravaged areas.
There is urgent need to establish / operationalize blood banks in each district sadar hospital.
There is urgent need for establishing, operationlizing modern pathology, radiology, CT Scan / MRI laboratories in each sadar hospitals with automated haematology anylizers, microprocessor controlled light and fluorescence microscopes with image analyzers, digital centriguges, digital spectrophotometers etc.
Urgent need for large number of nurses, laboratory technicians, ward boys, paramedical staffs to attend to thousands of cases.
Children are falling sick or dieing in large numbers particularly newborns and infants. There is no facility for child delivery, labour rooms, neo-natal facilities in any sadar hospitals. Please establish departments of Paediatrics, Gynaecology, neonatology and paediatric surgery etc urgently in sadar hospitals.
There is urgent need for hundreds of tonnes of bleaching powder and pesticides, chlorine tablets, and life saving drugs to prevent the epidemics like cholera, diarrhoea, amoebiasis, dysentery, malaria, dengue, kala azar, pneumonia, typhoid etc outbreaking due to rottening/deacying animal carcasses, human corpses, decaying organic matters etc.
There is urgent need for large stocks of antibiotics, safe drinking water, medicines, infusion sets, mosquito nets, mosquito coils, in each sadar/ block hospitals/primary health centres. Malaria fumigation machines are to be purchased and deployed in large numbers in affected areas to eradicate the mosquitoes.
As per reports, already more than 100 people have died due to large scale outbreak of diarrhoea, dysentry, fever and other complications. Situation is going to be far worse when the flood water recedes. The major cause of diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, typhoid etc is unhygienic sanitatary conditions and lack of clean drinking water as people are forced to consume water from contaminated sources for survival.
There is urgent need to establish ICU, ICCU and paediatric ICU in each hospital.
Sir, all these Sadar Hospitals are notoriously infamous for its inefficiency, callousness, lack of responsibility, lack of sense of duty and much more. Modern hospital management measures should be adopted. It should be run on corporate lines with doctors/ professionals with degrees in Hospital Management from reputed varsities.
The condition of all the wards in the hospitals is in highly pathetic. Perhaps, the hell might be a better place than these hospitals. There are no beds in wards, no mattresses, no bed cover, blankets or pillows in any ward. In the name beds, few ancient broken iron cots are kept. Most of the time patients are kept on the bare cement floor without any life support system. Even there is no lighting in the ward rooms, patients purchase their own bulbs if they want light. There are no stretchers, oxygen cylinders, no toilets, wash basins, urinals for patients. Situation is pathetic for female patients.
As a matter of Govt. medical policy, a minimum of three years rural posting should be made mandatory for each medical graduate passing out from medical colleges, failing which their registration should be cancelled and a heavy penalty charged.
There is need for establishing permanent captive power plants in each sadar hospitals. If it does not materialize immediately, till then large industrial size diesel generators (with stand by) should be provided in each hospital.
There is urgent need for ambulances, mobile ambulatory clinical vans to carry and treat patients in vulnerable condition.
One large budget Referral Hospital was started at a place called Chandrayan in Saharsa district which has never been completed nor operationalized. This is pathetic loss of public money. Kindly constitute a vigilance enquiry as to why after spending crores of rupees this so called referral hospital is not complete and not working. Had it been in proper condition, it could have provided a great service at this time of crisis.
For fulfilling all these urgent requirements, it is requested that a minimum grant of Rs. 10 crores should be immediately released to each sadar hospital so that they can be upgraded and strengthened to serve the people.
All the flood affected refugees are answering their nature’s call in the open. This may result in mass epidemics due to large deposits of night soil around crowded clusters. Hence, there is urgent need to construct large public toilets with bath facility in all these floods affected district headquarters and temporary toilets with baths adjacent to relief camps at each place.
Dr. R.P. Raman,