Published in The Pioneer , Bhopal, Jan 4, 2006
Thirty-five-year-old Kali Bai has to walk through six kms to get nearest primary healthcentre for every health problem she or her family faces. The situation of other residents of Ataikheda village is no better.
Though the Madhya Pradesh Government has claimed that efforts are being made to provide better health facilities in rural areas, the villagers find no end to their problems.
There are over 50 villages in Rajgarh district, which are deprived of medical facilities. The Health department in view of providing facility of institutionalised delivery restricted the in-house deliveries and midwifery system was abolished in the State.
There are 229 community healthcentres (CHCs), 1,194 primary healthcentres (PHCs) and 8,835 secondary healthcentres (SHCs) in the State. Particularly in Rajgarh district, there are only four CHCs, 31 CHCs and 166 SHCs.
Shivlal of Ataikheda village said that on an average in every four-five months, only one delivery takes place in the village. Instead of taking the pregnant woman to six-km away healthcentre, services of experienced old women are sought. "Taking pregnant woman on the kachcha road is quite difficult and there have been instances of miscarriage in the past," he added. He informed that only one non-medical assistant (NMA) is scheduled to visit the village once in a week.
Similar are the woes of Rasulpura village residents. This village is nine kms from the main road and 24 kms from Pachore tehsil. There have been instances of snake and scorpio bites in the villages, but the victims never received any medical facility. JP Sharma, a project assistant with the District Poverty Initiative Programme (DPIP) in the villages of Rajgarh district, felt that the project officials are considering to providing medical training to the common interest groups (CIGs) of the villages so that they could take care of their health problems.
The inferences of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) are revealing. A total of 60 per cent of children under three are malnourished, 27 women die everyday due to complication within pregnancy or 42 days after pregnancy and 79 children die out of 1,000 born before their first birthday. Similarly, 60 per cent of children are not fully immunised and 40 per cent women are malnourished.
Health Minister Ajay Vishnoi while talking to The Pioneer accepted that there is shortage of medical experts in far-flung villages, but medical experts would soon be deployed in the villages. The State Government has recently recruited MBBS doctors on contract basis for posting in rural areas, he added.