Report by Badal Tah; Rayagada: Concerned over the precarious health issues in the district, just one year back, Rayagada district administration under the able leadership of Smt Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar, IAS, Collector made a road map for decreasing Infant Mortality Rate(IMR) & Maternal Mortality Rate(MMR) and presented it before the public in the presence of people’s representatives and other health personnel. This was a district specific initiative called “AMA SANKALPA”, literally means our promise.
After passage of one year, Guha, who was hell bent in minimizing the health hazards in the district, has again gone to the public to showcase the achievement just within one year. This is again in the presence of people’s representatives, Special Health Secretary, RDC, all health personnel of the district and emancipated denizens. People have appreciated this sign of transparency and self appraisal.
While eleven numbers of maternal deaths have decreased, the infant deaths have decreased to forty nine during this financial year upto August. This achievement was possible by taking up various steps like creating fourteen additional delivery points for facilitating institutional delivery. Sixty percent of the tasks assigned to twenty five numbers of poor performing sub-centres have improved paving the way to decrease in IMR & MMR. 449 high risk pregnant women were identified and provided required services after tracking them and ensuring institutional delivery by linelisting them at CHC levels. Apart from eight Maa Gruha, where the pregnant mothers are housed for a week or so prior to the institutional delivery, three special Maa Gruhas have been established under Ama Sankalpa in three strategic points in Putasing, the abode of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group(PVTG) called Lanjia Saura, Padmapur & Muniguda.
A double fortified salt containing Iron & Calcium has been introduced recently in the district which will be helpful in improving the nutritional status of adolescents, children & pregnant women. The salt will be a part of meals in the schools and anganwadi centers. The Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre(NRC) under Sub-Divisional Hospital(SDH) at Gunupur has been upgraded from five bedded to ten bedded to accommodate severely acute malnourished children. There is continuous screening of red zone children and linelisting at CHC levels and referral to NRCs through Mobile Health Units and RBSK. For 123 special Village Health & Nutrition Day(VHND) sessions, tents have been provided to ensure quality Mamata Diwas.
To strengthen the effort, monthly reviews of Maternal Deaths and Child Deaths are personally taken up by Guha at district level followed up at all block levels to monitor and contain more number of deaths. One mobile application called ”Ama Sankalpa” to help all the supervisors, who will have unique IDs, track and monitor high risk pregnant women. This will also be monitored from the district level having the chief admin.
Last but not the least, two bike ambulances have been introduced in two most difficult areas like Parsali under Niyamagiri Hill Range and Putasing where PVTGs like Dangaria Kandhas and Lanjia Sauras reside. One may remember that several pregnant women coming to K.Singpur CHC for institutional delivery had to reach the destination with much difficulty either being carried on a stretcher or charpoy or ferried through a torrential river in the absence of proper road and bridges. Realising this plight and visiting the spot, Guha committed bike ambulances to these inaccessible areas. “The administration & more specifically Collector has kept her commitment. These bikes will certainly go a long way in providing much required care in those God forbidden area, especially in the field of Mother & Child Health. Our hopes have come true and I am sure this system can be fully functional after the PVTGs use the service upto their optimum”, said Sri Akshey Pidisika, a local tribal youth leader.