RAWALPINDI, Sept 15: While treating the dengue patients, the Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) administration is also providing a breeding ground to the mosquitoes that cause the disease, it has been learnt.

The hospital administration established a dengue treatment cell in a building whose basement has a ‘permanent’ pool of stagnant water. The water has accumulated in the basement for the last 10 years and the administration instead of treating the seepage continues to drain it out.

An official in the hospital wishing not to be named said the stagnant water was in the notice of the hospital seniors and Rawalpindi Medical College and allied hospitals chief executive Prof Dr Musadaq Khan but they did noting to reconstruct or repair the basement.

He said the old building of the hospital was also endangered due to the seepage if the administration and the health department did not take the matter seriously.

Ironically, the dengue treatment cell, gynae wards, surgery department, outdoor patient department, dispensary, blood bank, dental, eye and the X-ray departments are located in this building.

It may create problem for thousands of patients visiting the hospital daily if the administration and the provincial government did not work to improve the condition. The dengue mosquitoes and other insects would be harmful for the patients.

The wet basement is the perfect breeding place for insects and mosquitoes to grow and multiply. The health department launched anti-dengue campaign in the district but its team did not visit the BBH, he added.

“These health risks will increase with the level of exposure. If the mosquitoes continue increasing, the patients will suffer a lot,” said Young Doctors Association Punjab chapter chairman Dr Mohammad Haroon.

“YDA condemns the indifference attitude of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who also holds the health portfolio, for putting the lives of thousands of patients and doctors at danger. Not only dengue but also malaria, fungus, gastro and other germs-caused skin diseases will spread in the hospital,” he said.

When contacted, BBH Medical Superintendent Dr Asif Qadir Mir admitted that the water had accumulated at the basement due to seepage. “The water did not rise more than three feet and the staff drain it out after 10 days,” he said.

“It is small portion of 3,000 square feet where the water has accumulated. In 2004, the hospital administration managed to fill the basement area beneath the offices of the administration with soil and other construction material,” he said.

He said for the remaining portion, the administration made a plan and it required Rs2 million and forwarded the summery to the provincial government for approval. He said the work would start if the funds are made available to the administration.

“There is no need to get panic as it will not be harmful for the building structure. The hospital administration fumigated the hospital weekly for the sake of patients and doctors as well as other staff,” he said.

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