Basic healthcare facilities remain a dream for the villagers of Kamthur.
By Batchu Rushali
Three villages in Devagiri Gram Panchayat including Kamthur have no hospitals, medical stores or Primary Health Centers (PHC).
Villagers who do not work in the mining area have to travel to the Sandur taluk Government hospital which is about 20 kilometers away from the village.
The infrastructure of the village hospital building was to be renovated for better infrastructure. When The Softcopy visited the hospital, it was locked. Villagers said it has been locked for a year now.
Arun Kumar, the Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) said that no doctors are assigned to the villages and that there is just one nurse appointed who is not available when required.
“The Auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) office building is always locked and there is just one nurse for three villages- Kamthur, Bandhri and Chornoor. The nurse keeps on rotating between these villages. So, it gets difficult for her to attend the patients in a single village or sit in just one place,” he added.
Villagers who work in the Devagiri mining area avail medical facilities under the National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. (NMDC).
There are total five villages under Devagiri Gram Panchayat, out of which two are mining areas.
“The NMDC mobile van comes to the village every Friday for a regular check-up but the service is limited to the mining workers and the local people are forced to arrange their vehicle when necessary,” added Mr. Kumar.
The teacher of the government primary school in Kamthur village told The Softcopy that during an emergency or severe illness, villagers have to arrange for transport by themselves. “It is very inconvenient at times but they have no choice,” she said.
Diseases like tuberculosis, cancer or accident are common among villagers due to dust pollution from the mining area in Devagiri.
The 20 kilometers journey is a tedious one, points out a villager, Raju. “The road is muddy and unpaved and it takes forever to reach the taluk hospital,” he said.
Neela, a four month pregnant woman who travels to Sandur for medical treatment regularly said, “It gets really difficult for me to travel for my regular check-up as the roads are not properly constructed too.”
To this, Mr. Kumar added, “There are only two buses travelling to the government hospital in Sandur. We have lodged complaints and written letters to the MLA and the District Commissioner but even after constant inspections, the problem remains the same. ”
Health Officer, Dr. Kashi Prasad said that the distance and lack of transportation is one of the major reasons for the lack of healthcare facilities.
Dr. Vineetha Patil, a medical practitioner said that it sad that the government is still not able to provide healthcare facilities like an ambulance to the villagers. “Schemes which are announced should be implemented as well. It is not even about hospitals because there are no medical facilities at all. Healthcare is a basic right; the villagers at least deserve that,” she said.