13 May 2010
By Shailvee Sharda
In a decision that would ensure pure drinking water at hospitals, the family welfare directorate has sanctioned funds for the installation of reverse osmosis (RO) water systems in all government hospitals in the state. At present, the system is installed at 15 out of 134 government hospitals in UP.
Till now as most of the government hospitals in UP did not have arrangements for clean drinking water, patients and their attendants had to often drink impure water, making them vulnerable to water infections. –Complaints of poor quality of water being supplied in hospitals
was common... but no one paid attention... But as doctors, we know the potential risks to patients that impure water poses. Therefore, we
decided to examine the matter in detail,” said a senior official associated with the project. Following an initiative undertaken by the state family welfare directorate, it was learnt that the quality of drinking water in government hospitals was very poor. Under the initiative, water samples were collected from 24 government hospitals in Agra, Firozabad, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Shikohabad, Unnao, Meerut, Hardoi, Shajahanpur and Allahabad.
The samples were sent to the International Testing Centre – a private testing laboratory under the Central Pollution Control Board and ministry of environment and forest. The laboratory tested the samples on 10 parameters, including turbidity, hardness, alkalinity, presence of sulphate, chloride, fluoride, calcium, etc.
The samples failed on four parameters. For example, the reading for ‘total dissolved solids in water’ stood at 787.87 units against the standard limit of 500 units. Similarly, total hardness of water was found to be 447 units, about 35% higher than the standard 300 units.
Health department officials informed that water samples were within the prescribed permissible limits. But since the samples were collected from government hospitals, where patients and attendants drink water, experts suggested maintaining the desirable standards as the benchmark.
–When they say water is elixir of life, they actually mean it. But medically, this is true for water free from impurities. And the opposite is also true. Impure water is equivalent to poison. If it wouldn’t cause immediate death, it would kill slowly,” said professor of gastroentrology at Sanjay Gandhi Post–Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr G Chowdhury.
Step To Ensure GOOD HEALTH