National Hospital Colombo water tanks untouched for 20 years: Dr. Bellana

National Hospital Colombo water tanks untouched for 20 years: Dr. Bellana

The National Hospital Colombo (NHC) Deputy Director Dr. Rukshan Bellana, said today that the hospital’s main water tank tower and other water storage tanks have not been cleaned in the past 20 years.

Speaking to the media, he revealed that the hospital currently has approximately 161 water storage tanks, including the main water tank tower.

Surprisingly, there are no records available documenting the cleaning schedule or installation dates for these tanks, said Dr. Bellana adding that according to standard protocols, water storage tanks should be cleaned at least once every three months. However, shockingly, these tanks have not been cleaned for the past 20 years.

Dr. Bellana expressed concern over the apparent lack of attention to water cleanliness by health inspectors at the hospital. While routine water samples are sent to the Medical Research Institute (MRI) annually to check for bacterial levels, he claimed that this alone does not guarantee water purity. There could be harmful contaminants present in the water, posing risks to patients and staff alike, he further said.

Highlighting the significance of the issue, Dr. Bellana pointed out that this water is used by patients as well as sensitive equipment in operating theatres and laboratories, potentially leading to equipment damage.

Moreover, Dr. Bellana said that using water from uncleaned storage tanks poses both public health risks and threats to sensitive equipment, urging immediate action to address the situation.

“Who should take responsibility for this situation? It appears that the public health unit within the Health Ministry is not aware of what’s happening, and the minor workers are neglecting their regular duties, including tasks they traditionally perform, and they are even refusing to clean intensive care units,” he said.

The Secretary of Health, a former WHO Regional Director, could not be reached for comment.

courtesy dailymirror