RUKUM, Sept 22: A month ago, Hira Khadka of Sisne Rural Municipality-6, Rukumkot, suffered from fever. She went to a nearby health post for treatment but unfortunately, there were no health workers and medicines there. As a result, she had to return home carrying some commonly available drugs. A few days later, her family members were compelled to take her to Nepalgunj as her fever started getting worse.
On September 7, son of Dhan Bahadur Shah fell down and broke his arm while returning from school. As his treatment wasn't possible at the health post, he had to be taken to the District Hospital of West Rukum. As there is no hospital in East Rukum, the locals of the newly formed district of East Rukum are compelled to go to other districts even for minor health problems.
Since last year, the government introduced East Rukum as the 77th district of the nation but only for namesake. Madan Shah, a local, says there are health posts but no medicines and health workers. It has been a year since the people got three different governments under federalism. One of the major objectives of federalism was to make the services of Singha Durbar accessible to the people living in every part of the country.
Sadly, for the people of East Rukum, that slogan has been limited to words. There is not even a single state- or community-run hospital in the district. This has left the locals of East Rukum with no option other than going to the neighboring districts such as Rukum West, Dang, Nepalgunj among others for treatment.There are many cases when people lose their lives due to the lack of timely treatment. If somebody dies, his/her body is taken to West Rukum for a postmortem. Loknath Timsina, police inspector at the District Police Office (DPO), East Rukum, stated that carrying dead bodies of those killed in accidents and suicides to West Rukum is risky.
Former Prime Minister and President of the Nepali Congress (NC), Sher Bahadur Deuba had announced to build a 50-bed hospital but nothing has been done toward that end so far. Parliament member Kamala Roka said that efforts are underway for the construction of the district hospital. She says she has repeatedly visited the health ministry urging the authorities to build a hospital in East Rukum.