Devika Dubodiya | Kapkot | Bageshwar, Uttarakhand | In India, majority of healthcare centres in rural and hilly areas have always been inadequate in providing quality health services. According to a report in 2018, only 11% Sub-Centres, 16% Community Health Centres (CHC) and 13% Primary Health Centres (PHC) meet the Indian Public Health Standards. Whereas the rest, lies just for the namesake lacking basic facilities and staff for treatments. 43 km away from the district headquarter Bageshwar, Karmi village is likewise deprived of medicare services. The Community Health Centre present in the village although stand still could barely suffice to the medical needs of the people. It’s a dingy structure with few beds and facilities of barest minimum. Interestingly, the livestock in the village are also taken to the same centre for treatment.
Accessibility of ambulance services is another major challenge in the village. Both lack of motorable roads and poor network make it difficult for the villagers to access it. During emergency situations, the villagers are compelled to book private taxis which costs to a great extent. As a consequence, most of the people prefer not to get any treatment since they are unable to afford the expenses. Pregnant women face the worst impact due to absence of proper health care services in the village. “Due to extreme labor pain most women have lost their lives since they are unable to get immediate treatment,” shared Kamla Devi, a resident of the village.
On the other hand, the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) of the village who works towards improving maternal health have to often undergo immense pressure to provide best care to the mother amidst the prevailing unfavourable situations. “We have to be on our toes all the time because there were times when we had to deliver newborn on our way to the hospitals. Since there is no health care services in our village, we have to go to Kapkot to avail services. In case we don’t find any hospital with doctors, we then go all the way to Bageshwar. Imagine the condition of the patient and the pressure we undergo to travel 43 kms in the hilly region during critical conditions,” expressed Pushpa Devi.
The adolescent girls of the village also have their share of plight. Most of them are not aware of their health conditions and most importantly have no one to consult. Sita (name changed), a teenager from the village have accepted the faith of bearing period pains. “I have to bear this hardship every month. My family believe it’s a hassle every month to take me to a hospital in Kapkot as we do not have this basic facility in our village,” said Sita.
Further, adding about the inconveniences an adolescent girl face for healthcare, she said, “There are personal things that we want to share only with the female doctor, there isn’t even a hospital, let alone a female doctor. Besides, there are several myths about menstruation or any reproductive health concerns which need to be broken. Without any hospital and doctor, we do not see this happening.”
Kaushalya Devi, the Sarpanch of the village, understands the gravity of the situation and said that, “The Panchayat considers this challenge to be significant and we are trying to resolve this problem at the earliest. From elderlies to new born, every being in this village is deprived of even timely checkups and mainly rely on the over-the-counter medicines for their illness.”
The local administration will be able to achieve it only when they have the full support of the concerned department. Recently, assembly elections have taken place in Uttarakhand. People with full faith have voted in the name of development. Hopefully, the winning party would be able to pay attention towards providing basic facilities such as health, in the remote villages in the state of Uttarakhand.
The article was first published in Grassroots.
The writer is a student of class 9 and a resident of Karmi village, Bageshwar. Share your feedback on firstname.lastname@example.org
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