with love to indore

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Five star health centre at Guna

a letter by a reader in central chronicle. Details about how money is being wasted

State children cry for help
Child deaths are highest in MP. It is not that these babies cannot be saved. Need is of health centres to save their lives. Not hi tech centre like we have in Mumbai, but simple health centre at every village. A basic health centre, which has medicines and some simple facilities, can help prevent deaths to a great extent.

The deaths of these children are not only happening because of lack of the centre. Health Centres are there but they lack facilities, doctors and needed medicines. State of health in Madhya Pradesh is pathetic. Children not only die in homes of villages of central India but in hospitals too.

MP needs to increase facilities at the primary health centres community and district hospitals like other states. They need to have doctors who will run centres and staff that will take care of these. Important thing here is that we have funds for the same. Funds is not the problem, it is the utilisation and use of funds, which is problematic.

State gets huge funds from GoI under National Rural health mission and many international donors like United Nations agencies, Japanese Funds, UK DFID, WHO and World bank. All of the donors try to set up one or two hi tech centres mainly at district level and forget what happens to the rest of children. Glaring example of this a sick care new born unit set up in Guna by UNICEF which helps handful children (maximum about 250 in a year). Fifty lakhs have been spent on the same which can only save 50% of children admitted in it.

Few lucky ones survive others continue to die in Guna district hospital ordinary wards. Hundreds die in nearby districts like Ashok Nagar and Shivpuri. If this investment was distributed in at least three districts and spent on all centres it could have worked better and saved thousands of lives, It is like 5 star hotel which has slums around it. It is our choice to focus on the 5- star hotel or think of children living in villages. To save lives, MP and India needs to put equal investment in all districts to increase facilities in government hospitals and health centres which will help poor of the state.

Kris Kumar, Via e-mail

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