URGENT: Midwife wanted !

Community Correspondent Ramjag Gaud reports from Dhoudai village council in Narayanpur District, Chhattisgarh, an area that is almost always in the news for the ongoing Naxal insurgency. His video reports are telling evidence of the toll paid by residents of the area caught in the crossfire of guns and ideologies. The peeling signboard is the only indication that this yellow, mouldy structure is a sub-health centre. For a few thousand people who live in Dhoudai village council, it is the nearest available place to get some semblance of medical facilities. The facilities here include two Resident Medical Officers who come and go at their own whim and an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) who hasn't made a single appearance in the near past. The latter holds an important role as she is in charge of looking after the health of expecting and new mothers as well as infants. "The building is so weak that anything can happen at any time. On days when vaccination camps are held, there is a shortage of space", says Harishankar Pathan a resident. With no services residents travel 35 kilometres away to the block level health care facilities seeking treatment for anything from a fever to more serious injuries and emergencies. The National Rural Health Mission website shows that for the 5866 ANMs required in Chhattisgarh, 16,943 have been hired. Is that all just on paper? The Crores spent on schemes like the NRHM and the great intentions with which they are set up, seem to be getting flushed down the drain in such cases. In Dhoudai a number of factors that include, the fear of being in a conflict zone; apathy; and a lack of accountability, have made a potent cocktail of inaction. And, it is time for some action to be taken. Please Call: Mr Kamalkant Sori, the Block Health Officer on 09406341400 and ask him to ensure that an ANM is employed at the sub-health centre immediately.

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