Medical student diagnosed with TB at Nair hospital
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Unhygienic work conditions have led to yet another MBBS student contracting tuberculosis at Nair Hospital. The 20-year old MBBS student is the fourth student doctor to have been diagnosed with TB this year. She is currently undergoing treatment for a mild form of TB.
The streak of TB cases during the year shows the apathy for hygiene in civic hospitals. Three resident doctors and four nurses in the hospital have contracted TB in the last four months. The most recent case surfaced last month when a 27-year-old resident doctor from the hospital's psychiatry department tested positive for TB.
"The seventh floor which houses the medical ward is always dirty. It is almost impossible for us to work there," a nurse said.
Following the death of 24-year-old medical intern Dr Samidha Khandare earlier this year, Sion Hospital started providing high-protein diet to their medical staff. Other civic hospitals followed suit.
Nair Hospital provides free breakfast to resident doctors, but not to nurses. A nurse from the hospital said she did not get protein-rich diet. "Earlier, we used to get bananas and eggs at night. But that was stopped few years ago. Now, we get only tea in morning and evening." A resident doctor who avails of the free breakfast said, "The facility for proper breakfast started recently this month."
Nair Hospital dean Dr R N Bharmal said the hospital prepares a proper menu for breakfast, which includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian options and has protein-rich content. "The girl who was diagnosed with TB had low nutritional value. Several doctors and nurses who contract TB come from remote areas, where nutrition is not considered important. They contracted TB due to low immunity," he said.
Trishila Kamble, secretary of staff union of BMC hospitals, claimed shortage of cleaning staff has resulted in untidy corridors and unhygienic conditions. "Many posts are vacant at Nair and several other BMC hospitals," she said.