Jammu and Kashmir Dying for Health

For more than three years, a hospital remains unbuilt, and it’s killing the people of Raithan village.

About The Video: For more than  three years, the walls of the Primary Health Center in Raithan village in Jammu Kashmir have stood in unfinished silence. Halted in mid-construction, the hospital was supposed to serve 10 villages in the area, but has instead lain abandoned, contributing to the illnesses and deaths of residents, all of whom have no access to nearby, affordable healthcare, and many of whom cannot afford to travel to hospitals further afield. Thousands of people in the area fear for the lives, and rightly so.

The absence of basic healthcare is only the beginning of what often results in a tragic ending. Emergency cases and pregnant women need to be carried on charpoi (wooden beds), bad weather prevents people in need being reached before they die, the absence of doctors and medicine is often the only thing residents find when they are able to reach dispensaries and hospitals, and the 2000 rupees taxi fare to distant hospitals means many people who can’t afford the trip remain sick or succumb to their illness.

Residents, who are fed up with the government’s profound lack of interest in developing healthcare in their area, wait anxiously for the day when the health care center is complete so they can walk to receive care, and have access to doctors, medicine and technologies such as x-rays. But how long that wait might be remains unknown.

Community Correspondent says: Community Correspondent Sajad Rasool calls upon the District Development Commissioner of Budgam and other officials to take action to complete the construction of the hospital, which has been pending for three years, and provide basic healthcare facilities for community members of Raithan and other adjacent areas.

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