The Dumadi Sub-health centre of Khayramari Panchayat, Murshidabad district in West Bengal operated from a small, rented room. Jayanti Sarkar, the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) of the centre reveals that they cater to over 7,000 patients of the region sans electricity, water facilties or proper waste disposal. “We had approached the Block Health Officer. They provided funds for the centre but the land prices here are too high. So we are unable to find land to build a centre,” reveals Jayanti
A sub-centre is the most peripheral and first contact point between the primary health care system and the community in the Indian rural health infrastructure. Each sub-centre is supposed to be manned by one Auxiliary Nurse Midwife, one female health worker and one male health worker. Sub-centres play an instrumental role in bringing about behavioural change and provide services in relation to maternal and child health, basic immunisation, check-ups and communication diseases programmes.