Modern washing plant needed for Dhaka Medical College Hospital06 November 2021
Every day, around 2,000 linens such as bedsheets, aprons of doctors and nurses and operation sheets of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital are collected from wards and operation theatres, washed and dried round the clock for reuse. People from across the country flock to DMCH for treatment, and around 4,000 patients remain admitted there on a regular basis. But for a hospital of this size, its washing service still remains archaic, failing to meet the strict hygiene requirements of this healthcare facility. The washing facility, adjacent to the nuclear medicine building and the Dhaka Medical College morgue, was set up in the mid-1940s, right about the time when the hospital was established.
Over time, the hospital went through many changes, improved and upgraded its services. The procedures at the laundry however did not see any improvement and still rely on human labour, which is also not adequate due to manpower shortage. The use of human labour, that too with only 10 persons, to do such an extensive amount of work results in regular complaints from patients and hospital staffers about the quality of work, and above all raise questions about hygiene. Workers said that they often get sick working in unhygienic conditions. Due to the hard work, the workforce changes frequently.
Many staffers complained that this method of washing and cleaning is old and the linens are not being cleaned properly. At times, bloodstains and other spots remain on the sheets which have to be sent back for cleaning again. Regarding health risks of workers and those who are using the linens, experts said the workers must follow health guidelines while collecting, washing and distributing the linens. The situation demands a modern washing plant and skilled workers trained to handle hazardous items. The government should establish modern washing facilities for not only DMCH but also all major public hospitals and medical colleges to avoid communicable diseases as hygiene is the prerequisite of healthcare.