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Pest and animal control in hospitals

Pests and animals are attracted to health facilities in search of food, water, shelter and optimal temperatures and pose a number of health threats through spreading of microbial infections and communicable diseases. Therefore having a pest control plan and an animal and pest free environment is of utmost importance for healthcare facilities.

Minimum Requirement for Pest and Animal Control

To ensure a pest and animal free environment, health facilities can undertake various activities which in general may include proper infrastructure maintenance, provisions of physical barriers, having a pest control plan and engagement of pest control agency. Health facility should ensure that the following requirements are met for pest and animal control:

  • Hospital should engage a pest control agency for carrying out pest control activities including antitermite treatment for wooden furniture and fixtures. The records of engaging such agency and pest control activities need to be maintained.
  • Hospital boundary wall should be intact (at least 2.5 metres) and cattle traps installed at all entrances and exits of the hospital to restrict entry of stray animals.
  • Facility windows and doors should be designed in a way to reduce or prevent entry of flying pests.
  • Hospital staff should follow and comply with best practices of housekeeping, cleaning and disinfection.
  • Hospital staff should follow and comply with the best practices of waste management.
  • Periodic maintenance plan needs to be complied with for maintenance of cracks and holes in infrastructure and for any plumbing faults in utilities and pipes,.fixing of clogs, fastening of floor drains.
  • Regular trimming of landscapes, plants, shrubs and trees also to prevent rodents from having easy access to upper levels, windows and the roof.
  • Regularly cleaning of drains and check for any drain clogs • Good storage practices for materials especially food item storage in kitchens and cafeterias.
  • Coordinate with local authorities to prevent accumulation of waste around the premises of the hospital as it leads to pest infestation in and around the premises

Measures for Mosquito Free Environment

As mosquitoes pose a major problem in India, the healthcare establishment should take some extra measures to ensure that it has a mosquito free environment. The health facility should ensure that the hospital environment is clean and all the water tanks and containers are covered.

In addition to these basic measures, the following additional measures need to be taken by the hospital to provide mosquito free environment and for patient safety:

  • Eliminate standing water in and around the hospital.
  • All the containers like coolers, buckets, planters, flower pots, trash containers should be checked for water storage and should be cleaned on weekly basis.
  • Hospitals can use good quality insect repellents.
  • Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels).
  • For containers without lids, use fine wire mesh.
  • All the septic tanks should be checked for cracks or gaps and open vent should be covered with fine wire mesh.
  • Hospitals may use screens on windows and doors.
  • Health facilities may also use mosquito nets for patient safety.

Pest Control Plan

Health facility needs to have an effective pest control plan for ensuring a pest and animal free environment in the facility. The salient features of pest control plan are :

  • Engaging a pest control agency for carrying out pest control activities in the facility.
  • Pest control activities should also include anti termite treatment for furniture and fixtures.
  • Pest control plan includes the frequency of carrying out the activities related to the pest control.
  • Besides normal frequency of carrying out these activities, such plan should also include other indications for carrying out the activities of pest control for example on incidence of pest presence (e.g., pest sightings, droppings or pest catches in monitoring traps) and when nonchemical approaches such as vacuuming, trapping and exclusion (i.e., physically blocking pests’ entrance) has been unsuccessful or is inappropriate.
  • Pest control plan should also include routine inspection and monitoring for pest presence.
  • Pest control plan should also include storage conditions and methods of different materials especially for food items.

Source: : Guidelines For Implementation Of "KAYAKALP" Initiative



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