Posts filed under ‘Sardar Raja Medical College (WODC), Kalahandi’

HIV/AIDS spreading fast in western Odisha: The Pioneer

Following report is from The Pioneer:

Ask anybody about western Odisha, and the answer would be of a backward area where concentration of poverty, mass migration and malnutrition is high, even though it has a high concentration of mineral and mining is common. Unfortunately, western Odisha is also lags in healthcare facilities.

Recent reports of HIV/AIDS spreading its tentacles here with as many as 184 persons succumbing to AIDS in 12 backward districts of the State have made the situation grim. There are around 2,400 HIV positive people in this region, even as the United Nations has declared combating HIV/AIDS as one of its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and universal access to health services as one of the basic human rights.

According to a report of Odisha State AIDS Control Society, there are a total of 17,708 people living with HIV in Odisha out of which 11,052 are men and 6,656 are women. Out of 1,407 AIDS patients, 1,109 have succumbed to the dreaded disease, says the report.

In 12 districts of Odisha – Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Nawarangpur, Rayagada, Balangir, Sonepur, Boudh and Kandhamal – a total of 184 persons have died and 2,395 people are HIV positive.

In Jharsuguda district, a total of 114 cases have been detected so far while four have died from AIDS. In Sambalpur district, there are 673 HIV positive cases and out of 39 AIDS patients reported, 33 have succumbed to the disease. In Bargarh district, 180 HIV positive cases have been detected and six have died from AIDS. In Nuapada district, 150 persons have are HIV positive and 19 people have died from AIDS. In Kalahandi district, 264 people have been detected as HIV positive and three have succumbed to the decease. In Rayagada district, 431 have been identified as HIV positive and 51 have died from AIDS. In Nawarangpur district, 409 have been identified as HIV positive and 15 have died from AIDS. In Boudh district, 326 persons have been identified as HIV positive. In Kandhamal district, 32 have been identified as HIV positive and 15 have died from AIDS. In Sonepur district, 17 persons have been identified as HIV positive.

Balangir, which is known for its acute poverty and mass migration, has now 465 HIV positive cases and 39 have died so far. However, official figures state that 327 people have been identified as HIV positive.

Counselors have been appointed in all the 14 blocks of the district but there are only five technicians.

It is futile to expect a person of Tureikela or Muribahal to come to Titlagarh for blood test. The appointment of laboratory technicians is done by the Odisha State AIDS Control Society. We have nothing to say, says an official here. We are trying to manage by imparting training to our technicians on HIV testing and posting them in migrant-prone blocks of the districts, said CDMO Dr PC Sahu.

The second ART centre in western Odisha was opened in Balangir after Burla in May this year. But it has not opened in a full-fledged manner as there is no permanent staff and only one medical officer and a pharmacist has been posted.

According to reports, the ART centre at Burla is not functioning effectively. We have to inform officials of the ART centre about the patients. Patients who come here are allegedly harassed by the officials. The drug adherence centre at Burla does not function and patients face a lot of inconvenience. There is a network of HIV positive people in Balangir which is called the Balangir Network of Positive People but they are not able to do anything.

Even as 327 people have been detected HIV positive, this is just the tip of the iceberg given the mass migration. The number of infected people can go up to one per cent of the total population or 1,500 people of the district.

Ignorance among people, lackadaisical attitude among personnel involved in combating HIV/AIDS and absence of laboratory technicians fail to give the real picture. After the ICTC centre started in Titlagarh, the number of HIV positive cases went up rapidly. If the ICTC centres function with full-time laboratory technicians, the number is expected rise.

There is every possibility of the number of HIV positive cases going up to 1,500 in Balangir district alone and other migrant-prone backward districts like Nuapada, Kalahandi and Rayagada are equally vulnerable, points out an NGO activist.

The integrated counseling and testing facility (ICTC) has been provided only in districts belonging to A and B category in HIV prevalence while the C category districts are being overlooked. It must be noted that the prevalence of HIV is high in regions where there is acute poverty and migration, argues an official here.

Ironically, even after six years of elapse of the OSCAS, its website does not provide any data or information about the prevalence of the disease.

According to reports, major modes of transmission of HIV/AIDS are unsafe sex followed by blood transfusion and it affects mostly the youth in the age group of 14 to 35 years.

Migration has been one of the major factors in western Odisha for the spread of HIV among the rural people. The spouses of migrant labourers of western Odisha are vulnerable to the disease but neither they can challenge and defy the patriarchal system nor can get rid of the infection without preventive measures.

The health rights of the rural poor need to be addressed through inclusive approach. The HIV testing facility is still not available in all CHCs. The absence of laboratory technicians in ICTCs makes the entire system non-functional, said Sashikant Mallick of ActionAid.

Changing lifestyle, poverty, mass migration and lack of access of universal treatment of HIV people have worsened the situation, besides the stigma and discrimination attached with the disease.

While the big bosses implementing the projects are getting huge salary and luxury, bottom level workers are fed up with heavy work entrusted by their officers, rued an NGO activist.

Worse, even as the United Nations has put combating HIV/AIDS as one of the millennium development goals (MDG), and India is a signatory to it, it has not even started and even worse, it is spreading and absence of testing facilities and personnel has been causing much inconvenience.

August 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm 2 comments

Kalahandi’s Sardar Raja’s Medical College and Hospital (SRMCH) is in limbo

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

Kalahandi’s Sardar Raja’s Medical College and Hospital (SRMCH), the foundation-stone for which was laid by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on February 8, 2004 at Jaring, named Naveen Town, is yet to cater to the needs of the region full-fledged.

Even after six years, the pending work of the hostel construction is yet to be completed.

Initially, the State Government had provided 25 acres of land at Jaring, en route Bhawanipatna to Junagarh, and the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) had sanctioned Rs 10 crore (out of which Rs 9 crore has been received) for the establishment of the SRMCH.

The ongoing work began to slowdown when its chairman was convicted in a case by the Madras High Court ten months ago.

Reports said that his family members have appealed in the Supreme Court and prayed for early justice.

However, Raja’s two sons often visit the Jaring-based SRMCH from Tamil Nadu and hope for its bright future.

CEO Tarun Mishra told The Pioneer that in the absence of the chairman, all its staffers are apparently losing confidence.

Mishra also informed that the trust has enough funds and all its 83 staff members get their salaries in time, but the pace of the work is yet to pick up.

He said that earlier the WODC CEO Aswini Mishra, Kalinga Hospital director Saheb Sahu, Junagarh MLA Gobardhan Das and Berhampur Medical College principal Sunamali Bag had held a review meeting on the hospital campus for speeding up the work.

The SRMCH had signed an MOU with the State Government to complete it in a five-year period, but the period of the MoU has already elapsed.

The matter was also raised in the last Assembly session by Junagarh MLA Gobardhan Das.

Under the Selvan Educational and Charitable Trust, Vadakangulam in Tamil Nadu, the SRMCH has already spent around Rs 25-30 crore and the WODC has funded Rs 9 crore for the building construction and purchase of equipment.

The hospital’s 100-bed facility was first inaugurated on December 9, 2006.

It was again inaugurated on March 18, 2007 with its 200-bed facility followed by its last inauguration of 300-bed on July 27, 2007.

Facilitated with all types of equipment, the hospital work is now being handled by three doctors only, with a medicine specialist, pediatrician and one dentist on duty.

Nearby villagers come to the hospital and take advantage of it as far as possible. It requires appointment of 12 doctors for full-fledged operation.

Special cases are referred to Vizag hospital by the doctors, who visit every month from Visakhapatnam.

Mostly patients from Kalahandi, Nuapada and Balangir districts come for their health check-ups here.

The hospital has facilities of an ICU, two X-ray wards, ECG, ultra sound, 3 OTs, but due to insufficient doctors machines are hardly used.

Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das also hopes that the State Government would take up the matter for its early solution. There had been a hue and cry with a four-day long bandh here in the district in demand for a medical college led by Bhakta Das then. The district had worn a deserted look six years before following the stir.

It is high time the State Government took initiative for the betterment of the medicos and the larger interest of the region.

July 2, 2010 at 5:50 pm 4 comments

Fifteen hospitals of Kalahandi district are running without any doctors

Following is a report from http://www.orissasambad.com:

April 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

Regional imbalance and Western Orissa Development Council ( WODC):An op-ed from Samaja

Following is a report from The Samaja:

January 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm 2 comments

MP Bhakta Das and Sanjaya Bhoi points out reasons for Koshal state demand in parliament

Following is an article from The Samaja. Thanks to http://kalahandia.blogspot.com for the pointer. This is a very good move by MPs from Koshal region. They have demanded the following things:

  • Superspeciality Hospital and Medical college, National University, and KBK head quarter in Kalahandi
  • High Court Branch and WODC head quarter in Balangir
  • Assembly session once in a year in Sambalpur

All these demands are genuine. These demands were supported by Hemanda Biswal and Amarnath Pradhan. Hopefully, the government will look into this matter seriously.

December 17, 2009 at 11:31 am 4 comments

Sambalpur University Student union demands Koshal State; points out shortage of Universities and Medical colleges in Koshal region

Following is a report from The Sambad:

December 16, 2009 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

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