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AIIMS hygiene under scrutiny

Bindu Shajan Perappadan

NDMC claims to have served 30 notices on the Institute this year for not maintaining proper sanitation and hygiene levels It has earned the dubious record of registering highest dengue cases of its own



COMING FORWARD: Women in large numbers from Sirsa, Hayrana, at a blood donation camp organised for the dengue patients at AIIMS in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: V.V. Krishnan

NEW DELHI: With nine new patients from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) campus being admitted with dengue in the past 24 hours, the country's premier medical institution has earned the dubious distinction of registering the highest number of dengue cases of its own.

With 31 dengue cases till date, including one in which a student died, the AIIMS administration still maintains that sanitation and hygiene are not a problem on the campus. This while the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) claims to have served on the Institute 30 notices this year so far for not maintaining proper sanitation and hygiene levels and allowing mosquito breeding on the premises.

The new cases of dengue on the campus have indicated that the Institute perhaps did not pay heed to the early warning signals. As such, while the dengue cases began occurring in August this year, the number increased in September and October.

Speaking about the NDMC notices, AIIMS Medical Superintendent Dr. D.K. Sharma said: "We have received only one notice (on October 3) from the NDMC. The other notices that they claim to have issued may have been to individuals, which is not the responsibility of AIIMS administration. We got a notice about the overhead tank in the R.P. Centre of the Institute and we have complied with the suggestion and replied to the Council accordingly.'

However, NDMC Medical Health Officer Lt. Col (Retd.) S. K. Garg said: "We have issued notices to AIIMS about the unhygienic condition prevailing in the Campus, but with the administration claiming that they haven't got any notice from us, we have recently issued a notice to the administration."

Maintaining that the sanitation and hygiene standards in the hospital were second to none, AIIMS spokesperson Dr. Shakti Gupta said: "We have in place a standard protocol to ensure that sanitation and hygiene are maintained. Extra precautionary measures are put in place every April onward and we do extra spraying and fogging to control mosquito breeding in the campus. We have over 40,000 to 50,000 patients and visitors coming to the Institute every day along with over 10,000 vehicles, it is difficult to maintain hygiene round the clock in the premises. However the biggest achievement so far has been the fact that we have been able to float a tender and allocate the contract for covering of the open `nullah' outside the Institute. We have been demanding that the `nullah' be covered for over five decades and now work will start soon and should be completed by March 2007 at the cost of Rs. 21 crores."

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