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Pregnant Women Sleep Under Trees At Govt Maternity Hospital
Andhra Pradesh

Pregnant Women Sleep Under Trees At Govt Maternity Hospital

Manasa Chennapragada

At the Government Maternity Hospital in Koti, Hyderabad, a shelter home for attendants of patients awaits the inauguration by a Minister for three long months

Attendants of patients at the Government Maternity Hospital in Koti, Hyderabad are forced to sleep under a tree or near open urinals and the hospital corridor despite a fully constructed three-storeyed shelter home available solely for their use.

The shelter home for attendants, which has been constructed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), has not been opened for use because officials are awaiting a Minister to inaugurate the building.

The maternity hospital which has 160 beds itself is overflowing. Pregnant women, unable to find a bed, are sleeping under the tree in the compound. “There is no bed in the hospital. Hospital staff asked our relatives to call them if I get labour pains,” said 28-year-old Narsamma.

Patients and families sleep outside a building ready for use as they await a Minister’s inauguration of the building

Attendants like Hari Lala, who runs an electric shop in Tarnaka are furious as they have been sleeping outside for a month. “My wife got admitted due to some gynaecological problem a month ago. My daughter and I are sleeping under this tree. There are open toilets beside where we sleep and because of this we are unable to eat properly. All of us here are prone to many diseases like dengue due to the mosquitoes,” the 35-year-old told The Lede.

Anjappa Vadi, a driver by profession says that the hospital staff does not respond when asked about why the shelter home is shut despite being ready for use. “My wife got admitted three days back. We do not have proper drinking facility here, we are drinking bore (well) water. The hospital staff do not give us a proper response about patients and babies’ health,” said the 26-year-old who is weary already.
“This shelter home was ready three months back with beds and other arrangements but they open this shelter home for one hour during lunch time and later they lock it,” said 40-year-old Narsing, another attendant. “If they open it, it will be useful for patients and for attendants during this winter season.”

GHMC Commissioner Janardhan Reddy told The Lede – “We are making it functional from tomorrow without any inauguration. Already it has been delayed for 3 months due to the wait for inauguration but now we decided to make it functional,” he said. But these promises are yet to be translated into action.

Achut Rao, an activist in Hyderabad said that it was terrible that patients and their families were being put through such a miserable situation. “Closing it for 3 months for a Minister to inaugurate it is a pitiful thing. The government should provide better facilities for the public but now because they want publicity and to show that they constructed this shelter during their tenure, they are creating hardship for the patients. The same thing happened during the time of Chandrababu Naidu (in erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh) when he was the Chief Minister. They closed Narayanaguda flyover for 9 months awaiting his inauguration. All are public servants, they construct with public money and for public use. Closing it for inauguration is a clear violation of human rights. It is their responsibility to provide good facilities and they react only when media questions them. Officials should be punished for this,” he said.