The word ‘adhunik’, meaning modern in English, is part of the formal Bangla name of the hospital -- Habiganj Adhunik Sadar Hospital.
But the ones visiting the hospital or living around its compound in Habiganj town think otherwise as every day they have to encounter foul odour emitting from a large area near its main entrance, littered with garbage.
This correspondent during a recent visit to the hospital witnessed unabated dumping of garbage in the area by nearly everyone -- hospital staffers, attendants of patients and even shopkeepers and residents from surrounding areas.
The environmental pollution had been going on for long, but no effective measures were taken despite numerous complaints to the authorities, alleged a number of concerned citizens.
Jony Ahmed Raju, district coordinator of BD Clean’s Habiganj unit, quoting locals said since no one was cleaning the litterbin near the entrance of the hospital, their organisation cleaned it on August 30.
They will clean it again on September 20, he also said.
Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon’s Habiganj unit General Secretary Tofazzal Sohel said not only hospital staffers and attendants of patients, but also residents of the area are using the site to dispose of garbage.
It is highly alarming that neither the authorities of the district’s main healthcare centre nor the municipality are taking any visible steps to stop this practice that is putting everyone’s lives, including the patients of the hospital, at risk of contracting diseases, he added.
Monir Mia, a local residing near the hospital, said with the prevalence of dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases on the rise across the country, the authorities need to clean up the garbage bin at the hospital urgently.
Homemaker Yasmin Akhter, another resident of the area, said she and her eight-year-old daughter keep their noses plugged while passing the area every day to and from her daughter’s school.
A patient’s attendant, Mosabbir Ali from Chunarughat upazila, said the smell of the garbage outside the hospital building nauseated his son, who underwent treatment there for six days.
Contacted, Dr Rathindra Chandra Dev, superintendent of the hospital, claimed that it is the duty of Habiganj municipality to clean the litterbin every day, but they have not been doing their duty.
The patients of the hospital might contract other diseases if garbage remains scattered around the hospital complex, he also said.
Habiganj municipality Mayor Mizanur Rahman, however, refuted the allegation. He further claimed that the municipality cleaners collect garbage from the hospital five days a week.