The Castle Street Hospital which has played a pivotal role in improving the standards of maternal and child health care in Sri Lanka with a dedicated staff turns 70 years this year. Today the hospital performs more than sixteen thousand deliveries per year besides offering a slew of services to patients with gynaecological and sub-fertility issues and also attends to the conditions of the new born babies. Its OPD, which operates round the clock, cares for over hundred thousand patients annually, according to hospital sources.
This premier women’s hospital in the country no doubt has played a major role in lowering the country’s maternal and child mortality rate to that of the developed nations. Though based in Colombo outstation patients with serious gynaecological complications are often referred to the Castle Street Hospital by medical officers. The whole country, no doubt, owes a big debt of gratitude to this institution for its contribution to the nation.
The raging pandemic in the country is posing unforeseen challenges especially to health institutions. Maternity hospitals like Castle Hospital are seen going the extra mile to make sure the safety of its patients. As such the passers-by are witnessing long queues running down the street originating from the hospital OPD these days. It’s assumed that this happens on the clinic days. Perhaps the process of disinfecting patients at the OPD entrance is taking time and all expecting mothers are forced to wait in a long queue along the road as a result.
"The raging pandemic in the country is posing unforeseen challenges especially to health institutions. Maternity hospitals like Castle Hospital are seen going the extra mile to make sure the safety of its patients. As such the passers-by are witnessing long queues "
It certainly is not a pleasant sight for the motorists and pedestrians and more, definitely quite an ordeal for the heavily pregnant mothers with their swollen legs and aching backs. Some look as if they are quite close to their delivery date. One morning it was drizzling when they were seen lined up along the road. It definitely was a distressing sight for the passers-by.
The hospital authorities can certainly shorten these queues if they open more counters for the women to enter the OPD so that these mothers- to- be are not forced to stand in long queues along the road drawing all the attention of the passers-by.
Another matter that has been brought to notice is related to the condition of baby cots. The top and sides of baby cots are covered with net fabric in order to protect the new born babies from mosquitoes and flies. Apparently there are big holes in some of the net fabric used in cots thus exposing babies to insects. This has been a big problem in the night due to ubiquitous mosquitoes.
The authorities need not wait for government tenders to get new fabric material. Enough and more donors will come forward either to provide money or buy material if informed about the necessity of a new set of net fabric for baby cots. Besides with the hospital’s proximity to the main road and thus being exposed to dust through- out the day it is important to change the net fabric put over baby cots every three or four days.
Hope the hospital authorities will pay some attention to these matters which will help improve the conditions and the reputation of the hospital further.