Health posts sans health workers

TAPLEJUNG: To ridicule the government policy of making health services accessible to rural populations, 18 health posts in remote Taplung district have been running without Assistant Health Workers (AHW).

Phursung Sherpa, who hails from a mountainous village, said she could not be treated for excessive bleeding after the monthly cycle, failing to get a trained health worker.

Dhana Kumari Baniya, a resident of Kalikhola VDC, had to be carried by her grandson all the way to the district headquarters after waiting for an AHW for six months at the local health post. The villagers are facing problems since AHW Harka Gurung was transferred away six months ago.

According to District Health Office (DHO) Taplejung, 17 sub-health posts and one health post in the district are without AHWs.

Peons have been attending to patients as a result. Even other officials stay away on the pretext of attending seminars or vaccinating programmes. The sorry state of affairs has caused the deaths of many pregnant women, children and elderly persons, due to the lack of treatment.

To make matters worse, 54 positions in the health posts are laying vacant, according to Dilli Paudel, DHO branch officer. Dipendra Bokhim, DHO acting chief, said the remote health facilities were without paramedics since Department of Health did not encourage employees to be posted there in the required number.