All samples of water at Larkana hospital found contaminated

LARKANA: All four ground water samples collected from Chandka Medical College Hospital (CMCH), Larkana, have been found micro-biologically and chemically contaminated.

This was revealed in a letter written by the Health Department, Government of Sindh, Karachi to the CMCH Medical Superintendent (MS). The samples were collected and checked by a team of experts from Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad, who visited the CMCH and collected water samples from four different places – Casualty, Filtration Unit behind Orthopaedic Department, water tank besides Kidney Ward and hand pump opposite Surgical Ward-II.

The team recommended that in the past, ground water of Larkana was potable (sweet). Presently, its quality has deteriorated. Hence, the TDS level of all the ground water sources in the hospital have been found beyond safe limit ((1000 mg/l). The filtration for ground water is also useless because the water used for filtration is unsafe due to high TDS.

It was also observed that the filtration system increases the intensity of bacterial contamination in feed water. The water analysis carried out by PCRWR showed that Casualty water sample had Sodium (mg/l) 224, Sulfate 355 and TDS 1061. In Orthopaedics, it was respectively 214, 370 and 1138 and it had also Coli-form/ml and E/Coli/ml 68 and 09 respectively.

In Kidney Ward, the ratio of chemicals was 401, 610 and 1536 respectively. It also had Coli-form and E/Coli as 57 and 01 respectively. The Surgical Sard hand pump had 880, 1050 and 2803 respectively. It also contained Fluoride 2.83 and its E/Coli was too numerous to count. Hence in remarks the research officers of PCRWR said that “the water is unfit for drinking purpose due to parameters mentioned above under prescribed standards”. The letter further directed the MS to address the observations and ensure compliance of the recommendations of PCRWR along with latest report and action taken and submit the same to this office.

It must be mentioned here that a water commission had already observed recently that 88% of the water supplied to Larkana residents is contaminated. The CMCH sources said that they did not have the required expertise to suggest improvement in supply of safe drinking water in the hospital as per required standards as 1500 patients remained admitted in the hospital. These sources further said that entire budget was kept by the Health Department and no separate budget was allocated for improving water quality.