Sur­vivors of rape, acid at­tack to get spl cen­tre at KEM

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - YOURSPACE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

The cen­tre, equipped with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, will have gy­nae­col­o­gists, foren­sic ex­perts, and psy­chi­a­trists vis­it­ing the pa­tient. DR RAVIN­DRA DEOKAR, foren­sic depart­ment, KEM Hospi­tal

MUM­BAI: KEM Hospi­tal in Parel is set to be­come one of the first pub­lic health fa­cil­i­ties to start a cen­tre for sur­vivors of sex­ual abuse and acid at­tacks.

The 400-sq m cen­tre — which will in­clude coun­selling fa­cil­i­ties and a two-bed clinic — will have a team of foren­sic ex­perts, gy­ne­col­o­gists, pae­di­a­tri­cians, and psy­chi­a­trists. It will later be ex­panded into a 1,400-sq ft ward that will of­fer se­cu­rity and anonymity to sur­vivors.

The pro­posal to set up the cen­tre was re­cently ap­proved by the Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion’s health depart­ment. Dr Har­ish Pathak, head of foren­sic depart­ment at KEM Hospi­tal, said that he had been work­ing on the pro­posal for four years.

“We have been treat­ing vic­tims of sex­ual abuse since the past 12 years. How­ever, the hospi­tal and num­ber of pa­tients de­pen­dent on it, has in­creased mul­ti­fold. We no­ticed the num­ber of dif­fi­cul­ties sex­ual abuse and acid at­tack vic­tims face nav­i­gat­ing and avail­ing treat­ment through crowded wards of the hospi­tal while be­ing ac­com­pa­nied by the po­lice. We, there­fore, de­cided that there has to be a on­estop cen­tre for them,” said Dr Pathak.

While the hospi­tal treats over 200 cases of sex­ual abuse ev­ery year, there are no sep­a­rate queues or wards for them. Pa­tients are gen­er­ally brought to the hospi­tal by po­lice of­fi­cers and af­ter an ini­tial check-up in the ca­su­alty ward, they are trans­ferred to the com­mon gy­nae­col­ogy ward. If the pa­tients come to the hospi­tal on their own, they talk to the medico-le­gal team in the com­mon coun­selling area.

“We re­alised there is an ur­gent need to re­duce the num­ber of in­ter­ven­tions by dif­fer­ent de­part­ments while deal­ing with vic­tims. The cen­tre, equipped with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, will have gy­nae­col­o­gists, foren­sic ex­perts, and psy­chi­a­trists vis­it­ing the pa­tient rather than her hav­ing to go to dif­fer­ent de­part­ments,” said Dr Ravin­dra Deokar, as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor, foren­sic depart­ment.

Deokar added that sur­vivors will be pro­vided ba­sic ameni­ties like fresh cloth­ing, a mon­i­tored diet, and ad­di­tional le­gal aid and ad­vice if needed by the fam­ily.

“Dr Av­inash Supe, dean, KEM Hospi­tal, has also started work on a spe­cialised ward for abuse vic­tims where they can be ad­mit­ted rather than be­ing the sub­ject of dis­cus­sion in gen­eral wards,” Dr Pathak said.

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