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Infrastructure upgrade can boost rural healthcare

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Feb 22 � Even as evident progress takes place in Assam�s health sector, rural and remote areas require rapid interventions if the overall situation is to improve, and the idea of �Health for All� is to become a reality, say doctors with first hand experience.

There is a significant dearth of both infrastructure and human resources when it comes to providing healthcare in rural and more particularly in remote areas. The absence of adequate human resource has also been reported from conflict prone areas, where many doctors and nursing staff suffer from low morale.

According to sources in the National Rural Health Mission, there is a need for more sub-centres in the State along with health workers in such facilities. There is also a requirement for doctors in healthcare centres working in remote areas in a number of places, including in the hill districts and in char areas.

Doctors working in the rural areas mention that the drug supply chain needs to be streamlined for seamless flow of medicines to patients, many of them being economically weak. This impediment gets particularly aggravated during the rainy season, in which many of the remote rural areas are physically cut off. Some doctors are of the view that adequate stock of medicines should be built up in strategic areas before the onset of monsoon.

As in many other States of India, Assam�s rural healthcare picture is also darkened by a dearth of paediatricians. According to an NRHM document prepared in 2011, there is a shortfall of around 60 paediatricians in the State�s CHCs.

According to a doctor based in Guwahati, who provides voluntary service in rural areas, there is a need to have an �honest appraisal of the health care needs in rural areas, and particularly those areas which have high infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality rate (MMR) among other key indicators,� He referred to the fact that even after interventions the situation has not significantly improved, which meant that more needs to be done.

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Infrastructure upgrade can boost rural healthcare

GUWAHATI, Feb 22 � Even as evident progress takes place in Assam�s health sector, rural and remote areas require rapid interventions if the overall situation is to improve, and the idea of �Health for All� is to become a reality, say doctors with first hand experience.

There is a significant dearth of both infrastructure and human resources when it comes to providing healthcare in rural and more particularly in remote areas. The absence of adequate human resource has also been reported from conflict prone areas, where many doctors and nursing staff suffer from low morale.

According to sources in the National Rural Health Mission, there is a need for more sub-centres in the State along with health workers in such facilities. There is also a requirement for doctors in healthcare centres working in remote areas in a number of places, including in the hill districts and in char areas.

Doctors working in the rural areas mention that the drug supply chain needs to be streamlined for seamless flow of medicines to patients, many of them being economically weak. This impediment gets particularly aggravated during the rainy season, in which many of the remote rural areas are physically cut off. Some doctors are of the view that adequate stock of medicines should be built up in strategic areas before the onset of monsoon.

As in many other States of India, Assam�s rural healthcare picture is also darkened by a dearth of paediatricians. According to an NRHM document prepared in 2011, there is a shortfall of around 60 paediatricians in the State�s CHCs.

According to a doctor based in Guwahati, who provides voluntary service in rural areas, there is a need to have an �honest appraisal of the health care needs in rural areas, and particularly those areas which have high infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality rate (MMR) among other key indicators,� He referred to the fact that even after interventions the situation has not significantly improved, which meant that more needs to be done.

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