Doctors stay away from Belpahari (India)
MIDNAPORE, Nov. 6: Over 10,000 villagers, mainly tribals, living in the Maoist-infested areas in Belpahari block of Midnapore West have been deprived of medical services since three people, including a doctor and a nurse were killed in a landmine explosion on 22 October at Simulpal.
After the mishap, the district health department employees have decided not to dispense their services in those Maoist-infested areas though the outfit regretted the misfire saying they had committed it by mistake and assured full safety for the health department staff by issuing a press release. Eleven sub-centres of the health department ~ five in Banspahari and three each in Simulpal and Bholabheda GPs ~ had to be closed. Mobile medical services have also been suspended for indefinite period following the incident that had occurred while the three-member department team were returning after attending a camp organised to administer Japanese Encephalitis vaccine at Jarma in Simulpal.
This has impacted remote places mostly dominated by the Lodhas, Sabers and other tribals who depend on mobile medical services. Meanwhile, people in those areas have already been afflicted with malaria and typhoid.
It is being apprehended that these cases could flare up with the absence of medical services, said Mr Asutosh Mahato, fomer zilla parishad member.
However, considering the plight of the people in the areas, the district health department has decided to send mobile medical teams for three days to the gram panchayat offices of Banspahari, Simulpal and Bholabheda as they are located far away from the Maoist operating zone. This arrangement will continue until the situation returns to normalcy, chief medical officer of health (CMOH) of the district, Dr KK Basu said.
Von: 06.11.2008, www.thestatesman.net