Women, newborns stay on floor as beds scanty

Many of the treatment seekers at Patuakhali General Hospital’s gynaecology department have to stay on the floor as the 36-bed ward is too inadequate to accommodate the rising number of patients.

Khadiza Begum, 24, wife of Swapan Chowkider of Tushkhali village under Patuakhali Sadar upazila gave birth to twin babies at the hospital’s gynaecology department on Monday morning.

“I with my newborn son and daughter am staying on the hospital floor. But it is cold and I am worried about the babies. I requested nurses to arrange a bed but in vain,” said Khadiza.

The same day, Mousumi Akhter, 20, of Kalatala area in Patuakhali town gave birth to a baby through normal delivery at the hospital. Afterwards, she fell unwell and is taking treatment there, staying on the floor.

Sajeda Begum, 25, who gave birth by caesarean on Sunday at the hospital, is also staying on the floor.

Many other pregnant women and delivery patients have similar tales to tell.

“There are only 36 beds at the gynaecology ward but now 85 admitted patients are admitted here. And so, 49 patients have to stay on the floor. We have arranged foam mattress for them,” said Morsheda begum, a senior staff nurse, told this correspondent during the latter’s visit on Monday.

“As many as 541 women took treatment at the department in 28 days from October 1 to 28. Of them, 93 gave birth by caesarean,” she said.

This correspondent found at least 32 newborn babies with their mothers on the floor.

Md Mujibur Rahman, assistant professor of gynaecology department at Patuakhali Medical College, said pregnant women and newborns should stay on bed as they are vulnerable to various cold related diseases like diarrhoea and fever due to weakened immunity.

Established in 1979, Patuakhali General Hospital was upgraded to a 250-bed one in 2005 but around six hundred patients usually remain admitted there, said Md Saiduzzaman, superintendent of the hospital.

“The number of patients here is high as we try to serve all the treatment seekers. The accommodation problem will be solved after completion of the under-construction new hospital building,” he said.

Source: The Daily Star

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