Isolation ward in Bajura without docs, equipment

Bajura, April 7

The isolation ward established at Kolti Primary Health Centre in Bajura to treat coronavirus patients has neither doctors nor essential equipment.

Acting Chief Assistant Health Worker Singh Giri at the health centre said the isolation ward was established only for the sake of formality as it lacked health workers and essential equipment, among others.

Health workers said that for a proper isolation ward there ought to be a doctor’s team, oxygen, monitor and personal protective equipment, but the isolation ward set up at the health centre lacked all these.

People in northern Bajura go to different cities of India and other countries for jobs. These foreign returnees have been roaming from one village to another freely ever since they entered the district amidst the COVID-19 outbreak across the world. The local levels in the district have established quarantine facilities, but they are empty.

The isolation ward, with two beds was set up to keep COVID-19 suspects at the health centre.

Assistant Coordinator at the Department of Health in Budhinanda Municipality Omjung Shahi said the health centre did not even have face masks, let alone other equipment. He said health workers, who are on the fron-line in this battle against the virus, looked worried. “We are coordinating with the authorities concerned and will provide essential equipment to health workers very soon,” he added.

The primary health centre is being run without doctors for the last one year. The health centre has got no doctor after Dr Ganesh Chaudhary was transferred to some other district.

The health centre has been providing health services to more than 50,000 people from Bajura, Humla, Jumla, Mugu and Kalikot districts.

Gorakha Sharki, a local of Bajura, said people had been facing difficulties due to lack of doctors. Another local, Rangamal BK, said that Bajura was at high risk of COVID-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile, senior public health officer Daya Krishna Panta at District Health Office said most of the doctors were reluctant to work in Kolti due to the geographic remoteness. “I have contacted the ministry to manage doctors in Kolti,” he informed.

Lawmaker Lal Bahadur Thapa had also inspected the health facility two months ago. While inspecting the health centre, he had said that he would take initiative to bring doctors at the earliest.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 08, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.