The District Hospital, Rolpa, in this recent photo. Photo: Dinesh Subedi/Republica
ROLPA, March 7: Health posts and hospitals in Rolpa are not well-equipped. The shortage of medicines and doctors here often make the headlines. As the news of the spread of coronavirus across the world is making rounds, locals in the rural areas of Rolpa have raised concerns over the poor health facilities they have. They have urged the government to avail sufficient medicines at the local health units and the district hospital. On the other hand, health professionals in the district hospital have also lamented the inefficiency of the hospital and health units.
"People have shown high concern over the news. They fear the spread of corona. And more than that, they are concerned whether the health facilities here could be of their help," said Dr Dhanamaya Gharti, chief of the district hospital of Rolpa. "Their fear is not baseless. We don't have enough space, equipment or medicines to make them feel assured," she added.
Stating that psychological comfort is very important amid the fear of outbreak of any epidemic, Dr Gharti said that a better situation of health facilities would make people less panicked. "People may come to the hospital in suspicion to have caught the coronavirus. Fever or other type of flu could make them alert. But we could take them in confidence and give proper treatment only if we had such arrangements," she said, adding that sending samples to Kathmandu and then get it checked for coronavirus is going to make patients feel traumatized.
The number of visitors in the hospital has grown in the last few days. Rumors have also left the villagers panicked. Different versions of news in the social media have left them anxious, according to Dr Gharti. "We should at least have some wards to keep the patients in isolation as per need; let's see if we can manage one or two such beds. They follow social media and come across different news, which make them cynical," she sated.
According to a local of Rolpa, Mahesh Neupane, the government has always remained oblivious to the poverty and lack of facilities in Rolpa. Due to the negligence of the establishment, the people of Rolpa have been forced to die untimely. "The lack of emergency health services has fallen hard on Rolpalis. In this modern age, there is not even telephone service in the district hospital, let alone other things. If any mass disease bothers us, we are gone," he said.