Kesinga: When medical and treatment facilities are of prime importance, people of Kesinga block in Kalahandi district are deprived of those. Healthcare facilities are of prime importance as a second COVID-19 wave is sweeping India including Odisha, but there is a distinct lack of it in the Kesinga block for the last couple of years.
A primary health centre, which was set up in 1988, functions at Utkela village in Kesinga block. The health centre initially started functioning from a panchayat building. Later a building was specifically constructed for it and the centre was shifted in 2010. Around 25,000 people from six gram panchayats namely Utkela, Chancher, Kundabandh, Deogaon, Kikia and Gokuleswar depend on this PHC.
Local residents said Ashok Kumar Patra was appointed as a pharmacist at the PHC in 1998. They however, complained that he rarely visits the centre. Medical officer of the PHC, Dr Pratibha Majhi visits the PHC 10 to 12 days in a month. “Patients brave the scorching sun to visit the centre for treatment. However, most of the time, the journey turns out to be futile as there are no qualified physicians present,” alleged some residents.
Besides the pharmacist and medical officer, AYUSH doctor Dr Itishree Pradhan has also been appointed at the PHC. She mainly supervises the deliveries of babies. However, she refuses to carry out the job unless she is paid an under-hand amount of Rs 1,500 alleged other residents. They also said that the auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) has been transferred to Bhawanipatna a long time back. However, she is continuing to work at the PHC.
The picture at Kesinga community health centre (CHC) is no different. Some staff nurses are allegedly still working at the CHC despite being transferred. The quarters for staff nurses and other female employees have been completed eight years back, but are yet to be handed over to CHC.
Similarly, the construction of the labour room has been completed four years back and the contractor has already handed over charge to the health department. However, it is still not functional. So, approximately 25-30 deliveries are being carried out daily in the old and dilapidated labour room. In the recent past, four pregnant women and three newborn have breathed their last at the CHC.
When asked, Dr Majhi said she is working as per the instructions of the chief district medical officer (CDMO). When contacted CDMO, Dr Pratap Kumar Behera said he will investigate into the allegations and take stringent action against those found guilty.