Heath care service in Sudurpaschim State is pathetic. The state lacks availability of basic health facilities despite having people holding powerful positions in the State affairs.
The situation of the health care service sector has gotten even worse at a time when the entire country is battling COVID-19 pandemic. The State has a total of nine districts. Hilly districts Bajura and Doti have neither ICU service nor ventilators. Lack of qualified health workers and medical appliances has hit hard the state. More human resources are required to tame the infection, but the demand to this is ignored.
Only 18-bed ICU service is available in the entire state (10-bed ICU in Kailali and eight-bed in Kanchanpur), according to the Sudurpaschim State Health Directorate. The state has over 2.5 million population according to 2068 BS census.
The Health Directorate Director Dr Guna Raj Awasthi admitted failure to provide ICU and ventilator service to the districts for want of workforce. “There is not a big deal to purchase medical appliances. Specialists, doctors and technicians are needed to operate them. But we lack human resources,” he said. There are not any vacancies of specialist doctors in hilly districts, he said.
Efforts are on to set up ventilators in seven hilly districts in the state on the initiative of the state government, it has been said. “Each district gets two ventilators. The process to purchase ventilators is underway,” he said. “It requires training for whatever human resources we have to operate ventilators. There is a difficulty to send our workforce for training to Bir Hospital and TU Teaching Hospital due to the infection.”
The hospitals in the state could not deal with the infected people once the infection rate increases, he said. Darchula district has recorded 50 infection cases, the lowest in the state. Of the infected, 47 have got over the virus. Having nine local levels, the district has altogether two hospitals, 41 health posts, 18 community health units, 14 basic health centres and nine town health centres. The two hospitals have 21 isolation wards and efforts were underway to establish up to 10 isolation wards in each local level, it has been said.
Baitadi witnessed a total of 342 infection cases and 19 infected people have been kept in isolation. The district has 65 health posts, a district hospital, two primary health centres and 20 community health units. The process to set up a PCR machine has reached the final stage and a team of required health workers has been selected to operate it, said public health officer Yogesh Prasad Bhatta.
Mahendranagar-based Mahakali Hospital has finally brought ICU and two ventilators in use after five decades of its establishment. Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Hari Shrestha shared that six-bed ICU service has come into operation in the hospital for some days.
One among the three hospital’s ventilators is however dysfunctional. The hospital is currently reeling from human resources crisis. It has 28 posts vacant for the staffs till date.
Dadheldhura Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Jagadishchandra Bista shared that there were four ventilators currently in use in the district.
Three were already there while a new ventilator was recently brought to the district. According to him, there was no ICU service in any of the health facilities in Dadheldhura district.
District Health Office, Doti chief Ramesh Malashi informed that Doti district neither has ICU services nor any ventilators in any of its hospitals. Neither of the private hospitals in the district have ventilators. However, preparation was afoot to run ICU service in the District Hospital, Doti very soon.
Kailali District Hospital has 10-bed ICU facility and seven ventilators, according to the District Health Office, Kailali. The private hospitals, however, have been offering ICU and ventilator services.
Moreover, the remote district in the Sudurpaschim State, Bajura, is suffering dire state when it comes to public health services. Health Office, Bajura’s chief Daya Krishna Pant shared that the health facilities there did not have adequate human resources. “We are expecting to have ventilator from the State government,” he said, casting an optimistic tone.
Bajura has one District Hospital, one primary health care centre and 27 health posts. Unfortunately, neither of the hospitals in the district have ventilator and ICU facilities here.
Bajhang and Accham districts are also suffering similar fate. None of the hospitals here have ICU and ventilators.
Source: National News Agency Nepal