A surprise visit by a senior health official has prompted the BMC's Pesticides Department to run a rat eradication campaign at the civic-run medical facilities as well as its environs. Chetan Chaubal, head of the Pesticides Department, said “We have started a special drive to kill rats in hospital premises and surrounding areas. This drive will not only take place in hospitals but across 24 wards of the city.”
The drive will be subsequently launched in four medical colleges, 18 suburban hospitals and 29 maternity homes across the city. The move comes after the senior health official found rats inside the premises of a hospital which he visited.
Rodents menace pose threat of diseases
Rodents are a menace as they pose the threat of diseases like hantavirus, leptospirosis, etc. Health officials said, “There have been several incidents in the BMC hospitals where rats have created chaos and also bitten patients causing them serious illnesses. Moreover, not only rats but one can see dogs and cats also roaming inside hospital premises and sitting near patient beds. The problem leads to spread of diseases among patients and their relatives. However, kin of patients should also be blamed for this chaos as they keep feeding them due to which they are seen in hospitals,” a doctor said.
BMC's 4Ds formula for rat elimination
Currently, the BMC pays ₹23 for killing one rat, but the payment is only given when a monthly target is achieved; which should not be less than 50 rats. The civic body has appointed night rat killers organisation for the odd job. “These organisations are supposed to kill big rats which are usually found in drains, nullahs or outside hospital premises. We have also asked them to do poison baiting. Meanwhile, hospital administrations have been asked to close all entry points from where rats enter,” said a Pesticide officer.
To keep rodents at bay, the Pesticide Department has also instructed to adopt a 4D formula in hospitals as well as at home such as deny entry, deny shelter (no place to hide), deny food and destruction or elimination.