RAWALPINDI, Dec 2: The Rawalpindi Medical College (RMC) has decided to outsource the pest control system of the three public sector hospitals in the city.
The rat biting of a newborn baby at the Holy Family Hospital recently led to the removal of nine officials, including the principal of the RMC.
The provincial government also asked the administration of the college to evolve a strategy so that such incidents do not occur in future.
Rats, bedbugs, cats and stray dogs are a common sight in these hospitals.
In order to cleanse the hospital buildings from rodents, the RMC administration invited suggestions from entomologists working with the Punjab agriculture department.
The entomologists were of the view that the hospital buildings were old and had been constructed without using any method to check the growth of rodents. However, they suggested that the pest control system of the hospitals should be outsourced.
As a result, Prof Dr Afzal Farooqi, the acting principal of the RMC, invited some firms working in pest control and asked them to put in place one system for all the three hospitals.
The firms have been asked to control the rodents in the hospitals on a trial basis, and depending on the outcome of the experiments they would be awarded permanent contracts. The firms have started their work in the three hospitals.
However, the administrations of the hospitals said any pest control system would not produce 100 per cent results.
“Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) is surrounded mostly by restaurants and shops dealing in chicken and food items from where rats, cats and dogs enter the premises,” said Dr Asif Qadir Mir, the medical superintendent of the BBH, while talking to Dawn.
The medical superintendent of District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, Dr Sher Ali Khan, also attributed the problem to the hospital’s location in the middle of a wholesale grain market and thickly-populated residential areas. He said most of the rodents entered the hospital from the markets. Cats and dogs, he added, also frequented the building due to unattended garbage heaps around the hospital.
HFH’s additional medical superintendent Dr Tariq Niazi said the sewerage system of the century-old building was the breeding ground for rodents. He said if a new system was introduced, it would not give 100 per cent results until the main problems were resolved.
When contacted, RMC Principal Prof Dr Afzal Farooqi said the firms would demonstrate their expertise for a few days on a trial basis. “If the rodents are controlled through this way, we will outsource the pest control system,” he said.
He said the administration of the three hospitals had also been asked to make arrangements for cleanliness. The hospitals will soon present a neat and tidy look, he claimed.