Ujjain: The mess in the healthcare system in rural areas has revealed the utter failure of state governance to curb the spread of the crown during the second wave of the pandemic.
The crown is raging in rural areas despite the availability of funds, at the Gram Panchayat level.
According to experts, the panchayats can use their budget allocations under various heads to wage war against the crown at the village level. But due to political paralysis and governance failure, no such action has been taken so far, they say.
Appalling state of health facilities
Conditions in rural areas are so appalling that even villages located near towns lack access to basic health facilities.
Due to the surge in corona cases, hospital beds have proven insufficient for city dwellers and one estimate of conditions in villages is enough to send chills to anyone whose heart is beating for the crown victims, a source said. Worse yet, villagers are also struggling to access even basic drugs, leaving aside specific facilities in the crown like an oxygen bed and drugs like the Remedisivir injection, he added.
Diagnosis and isolation
The availability of corona test kits and the lack of facilities for CT scans further complicated the lives of the villagers. As village homes do not have attached toilets, isolating corona patients poses a huge challenge.
According to contributions from rural areas, corona patients are dying in Gram Panchayats across the state. However, the final rites of the crown victims are performed in the village itself, so the deaths of these Covid victims are not included in the Health Bulletin.
Examine a dummy
An investigation is underway in most of the villages. But investigative teams don’t even have a medical kit to provide to people with corona or corona-like symptoms, a source said.
Medical kits, masks and disinfectants
Visits by symptomatic or asymptomatic patients to Gram Panchayat headquarters or primary health centers are also unsuccessful in most cases, they find that the staff is not in the office. And even when staff are present, they have no medical kits to distribute, villagers say.
Masks and the use of disinfectants have proven to be helpful in curbing the spread and the government, after spending a lot of money on the pretext of raising awareness, has asked panchayats to purchase these essential items. But according to the sources, this is all a sham as the government has failed to clear panchayat bills in the past two months.
The Constitution gives Gram Panchayat the power to make political decisions, but even in this time of crisis, civic bodies appear to be forced to do anything for residents, a source said.
Experts attribute the failure of governance to political paralysis. They said that if the government decides to truly decentralize governance, conditions will improve soon.
Experts claim that the 15th Finance Committee made a lot of funds available to the Gram Panchayats under different headings. Panchayats can easily buy essential equipment like oxygen machines at an average cost of Rs 5 lakh, they added. For example, 609 Gram Panchayats in Ujjain district can buy 3 to 5,000 oxygen machines. This can prevent death from lack of oxygen beds in almost any panchayat.
If more than 23,000 panchayats in Madhya Pradesh buy even 5 machines, millions of people can be saved from the clutches of death.
“We will ensure that the corona medical kits are distributed to suspected patients during the door-to-door investigation. Ten-bed isolation wards have been set up in 609 Gram Panchayats in the district and are monitored continuously. Corona funerals Infected or suspected patients in rural areas are a serious problem and it will soon be resolved. Payment against the purchase of masks and disinfectants will be immediately cleared. “
ANKIT ASTHANA, CEO, ZILA PANCHAYAT