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Healthier facilities needed at Valpoi community health centre

Abdulla Khan | NT

Sattari is grappling with the worst outbreak of Kyasnur Forest Disease (KFD) since last one year. The dreaded disease has killed four people from Pali last year and the recent death of an elderly woman from Mauxi shows the callous attitude and negligence of the health department in managing the health service of the state.
Many of these deaths could have been avoided if the Community Health Center (CHC) was equipped with better health care facilities at Valpoi.
On several occasions patients from Sattari are referred to Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC), Bambolim or district hospital due to complexity in the health of the patients.
Relatives of many patients told this daily that the existing staff including doctors are doing their best, but CHC lacks health care facilities. In many circumstances, patients suffering from heart stroke or with severe sickness like KFD have to be referred to GMC due to lack of proper health care facilities.
The shocking revelation came when ‘The Navhind Times’ personally asked many of the patients, who said that the treatment at CHC would have been better if the state government upgrades the health care facilities at CHC.
A medical officer, on condition of anonymity said that if any emergency arises they have to refer patients to GMC or district hospital since CHC lacks specialised doctors and advance medical facilities. Interestingly, CHC refers daily a minimum of two patients to GMC or district hospital, Mapusa, and the patients are compelled to use the 108 ambulance. “Our ambulance is kept for maintenance work for the last 6 months. The health department has to release funds to pay the bills of the garage where the ambulance was kept,” said one of the staff when questioned about the ambulance. Adding to the problem, the hospital lacks a generator as GSIDC has not handover a generator to the hospital authorities.
“We use torch light to examine our patients,” said a nurse.
It has been observed that the number of Central Government schemes and programmes on health in Sattari has not been properly implemented by the state government. Vishwesh Prabhu who raised the issue related to CHC said that the health minister’s negligence is evident from the situation wherein the common men is suffering due to KFD and state health department is not committed to face the challenges of the outbreak.
Prabhu said, “No specialised doctors, absence of ambulance and no power backup are a major concern for the hospital. The people in rural and tribal areas continue to suffer in the absence of public healthcare facility. Our MLA who was also a health minister is also not bothered to improve facilities at the Valpoi CHC.”
When contacted the hospital visiting committee chairman, Narhari Haldankar confirmed that the ambulance has been kept for maintenance for the past several months.
“I have recently visited the CHC and told the concerned person to do a follow up on the matter. There is a dire need of specialised doctors and other staff in CHC. We will be meeting soon to discuss the matter” he said.
Haldankar further raised concern over the rise in number of KFD cases in Sattari and told this daily that he will be visiting CHC on Wednesday to review the situation. Giving his assurance to this effect, he said, “I will also request the government to take up the matter seriously as panic prevails in some of the remote villages of Sattari.”
Opposition leader Pratapsing Rane along with Valpoi Municipal Council chairperson Ramdas Shirodkar, councillors Sarfaraz Sayyad, Anil Katkar and VMC vice chairperson Shaizin Shaikh paid a visit to the CHC and took stock of the situation.
Rane also met a KFD patient undergoing treatment and suggested to the health official to start a vaccination drive in the villages where there is an outbreak of KFD. ZP member Premnath Hazare was also present.
Later, Rane also visited the residence of the deceased Janki Desai.

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