SIRAHA, April 17: A few days ago, Rameshwar Prasad Yadav, the in-charge of Majhaura Health Post of Nawarajpur Rural Municipality, was found checking the health of one and half years old Kritika Yadav by holding her wrist in his hand, trying to examine her pulse rate. He was not using even a stethoscope because the health post doesn't have one. The health post lacks other minor medical tools required for checking blood pressure, cough and other problems.
Due to the lack of required equipment at the helath post, Yadav has been checking all visiting patients by holding their wrists and exmising their pulse rates. Not many people visit the health posts these days for checkups and treatment due to the lack of medicines and equipment there. Those who come here for checkups are handed a list of medicines which are prescribed without properly diagnosing their illnesses. It's not that the health post has not urged the health coordinator of the rural municipality for the supply of medicines but still nothing has been done.
It is yet to be decided whether the District Public Health Office (DPHO) or the rural municipalities are responsible for buying medicines for the health posts. This has delayed the supply of medicines to the health posts, leaving the people struggling with their illnesses. The positions for one health assistant, one assistant health officer and a female health worker are vacant at Majhaura Health Post.
Health posts in this rural municipality lack even the commonly used drugs and iron tablets required for pregnant women. Dorik Lal Kamait, health coordinator of the rural municipality, informed Republica that the staffers of the health posts have not been provided with their salaries for a long time. Recently, a committee was formed for purchasing medicines. "The process of purchasing medicines will start soon as we recently formed a committee," said Kamait. He further said that all three heath posts of this rural municipality are reeling under an acute shortage of medicines.
For the last few months, Lab Assistant Nanda Kishor Yadav has been single-handedly operating the Primary Health Center of Nawarajpur. "There is no need of health workers when there are no patients," said Lab Assistant Yadav. There was a time when more than 50 patients used to visit the health post a day for checkups but now it's hard even to get one patient a day. Recently, Janakidevi Yadav of Bhagwanpur went to the Primary Health Center, Bhagwanpur clutching her 13 months old son who was suffering from common cold and fever. She was handed a list of medicines at the end. "I had heard that poor people like us get free medicines from government health institutions but that seems nothing more than a lie," she laments.
Umesh Lal Karna, acting chief of the DPHO, said that the medicines supplied by the central department are distributed to various health posts of the district but that has still not solved the problem. "Even the local units must make efforts to solve this problem," Karna said. Lack of coordination between the local unit and the health institutions has put the health of the patients at risk.