Report by Badal Tah; Rayagada: Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram(RBSK) is one of the flagship programmes of National Health Mission(NHM) of GOI implemented through Health & Family Welfare Deptt, Govt of Odisha. It is an initiative to improve child survival & quality of life through a systemic approach to early identification of 4Ds: Defects at birth, Diseases, Deficiencies and Developmental delays including Disabilities in children 0 to 18 years of age. This ensures free management and treatment including surgical interventions at tertiary level through dedicated Mobile Health Teams(MHT) at Block levels.
Major tasks of RBSK MHT include screening of 4Ds of young children between 0-18 years in Anganwadi Centres(AWC)-twice a year, Govt School- once a year & Residential School- quarterly once. The District Early Intervention Centre(DEIC) has registered 3346 cases of 4Ds, mostly birth deficiencies and developmental delay cases excluding 68 adolescent & 129 other cases. The achievement percentage of treatment for 4Ds is 72% where 68 adolescent & 129 other cases are not taken into account. DEIC has facilitated successful operation of 38 cleft & palate, 10 burn contracture, 44 cataract, 47 Congenital Heart Disease(CHD), 38 club foot cases. Apart from this 46 cases of CT scan, glaucoma, Eye deformity, Hernia, Myofibroma, etc. These kind of tertiary facilities were availed from premiere health institutions of Odisha namely SCB Medical College, Cuttack, Hitech Medical College, Bhubaneswar, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, LV Prasad Eye Institute(LVPEI), Bhubaneswar, Sri Satya Sai Heart Hospitals, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Appolo Hospitals, NIRTAR, Olatapur, Sahid Laxman Nayak Hospital & Medical College, Capital Hospital, etc. The District Health Mission under the leadership of Collector Sri Pramod Kumar Behera, CDMO Sri Saktibrata Mohanty and District Project Manager(DPM) Sri Rajesh Pattanaik is thus actualizing the health strategy in a mission mode.
There are 11 blocks in Rayagada. While with two MHTs per block, the district is supposed to have 22 MHTs; but as per the information of Sri Rajesh Pattanaik, District Programme Manager, NHM, Rayagada, there are only 14 MHTs in position and out of this only 12 are functioning. Hence only 55% of MHTs are functioning. An MHT is supposed to have one male Ayush doctor, one female Ayush doctor, an ANM and a pharmacist. Accordingly these functioning MHTs should have 60 staffs. Unfortunately there are only 26 staffs making it to only 43%. If the whole district is taken into account, it is mere 24%. With this meager staff position, the achievement level in screening for AWWs for the year 2018-19 is 70% and for schools it is 79%. The treatment percentage is 72%. Hence, with the existing staffs, delivery is three times.
“Doing three times of the task assigned to them is just marvelous. On the other hand, draining this kind of energy from the existing health staff may also hamper the quality as they are always in run. The authorities at upper echelon must understand the basic need of the local people and provide adequate staff in the district. There is no point having romantic health schemes without sufficient technical staff at the ground level”, said Sri Sashi Bhusan Hota of Hota Clinic of Rayagada.