Tuesday 14 August 2007

Are we demanding the Moon?

Written by Anil Singh

Last week Sahara Samay UP/Uttarakhand aired news from Champawat district of Uttarakhand. It was reported that two children belonging to the same family from the Shakarpura locality of the district (Champawat) died of food poisoning. The children had reportedly taken milk in the afternoon of the same day and developed symptoms similar to that of food poisoning later in the evening. One child was brought dead to the Champawat district hospital, while the other was referred to Bareilly, as the hospital found his/her condition too serious or in other words beyond the resources and the expertise of the doctors present.
This child also died on the way to Bareilly.
On the first look of the incident, it appears to be a common incident, where two children developed some illness after taking some food, for which they were taken to the district hospital. The hospital referred the child they found in a serious condition to a city with the expertise and the resources. But if the incident is scrutinized further, what appears a normal happening brings to light the grim and pathetic condition of the health care facilities in the state’s hilly regions.
Although it is hard to say what actually happened to the children that led to their demise, or whether the ailment was food poisoning or anything else, but from what has been reported and also from the normal practice of referring people to the big cities of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, it appears that the child was not referred to Bareilly as the situation demanded such an action, but the simple truth that ,even the district hospitals of the hilly regions of the state, are not capable of treating an ailment as simple as Food poisoning.
And the situation becomes much grim when timely intervention and medication differentiates Life and death, as in this case, it proved out to be.
Isn’t the time has come for the people of these parts of the state to have better, if not best Health Care Facility at their door steps. If equipping every hospital with adequate resources and personnel is a big asking, is it crime to ask for well-equipped District hospitals. For how long, people have to suffer the ordeal of being referred to places hundreds of kilometers away, when they can be treated at their door-steps.
If you also feel strongly about the situation or have something that we can share in this regard, kindly have your say.

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