When Dr Ganesh Babu took over because the medical officer on the Barsur Major Well being Centre (PHC) in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh 5 years in the past, he was stunned by the low variety of ladies delivering their infants on the centre.
When requested, ladies cited an absence of entry to close by amenities, dangerous roads, and no bridge to cross the river as a few of the causes. In consequence, they must ship at house.
“Our PHC caters to sufferers from greater than 20 villages. Barsur is situated in Dantewada district, which is a tribal space. Public transport may be very much less and never out there after 6 pm in most areas. Folks have to come back by foot. The district hospital is sort of 35 km away, which makes it very troublesome for folks to go there,” Dr Ganesh explains.
“Due to this fact, they’re depending on our centre. There are some villages that are virtually 20 km away from our centre and a few which might be on the opposite aspect of the Indravati River. It’s actually powerful for folks to come back right here from the opposite aspect,” he provides.
Dr Ganesh relied on an atypical answer to try to shut this hole — cell phones. To take care of a continuing stream of communication with ladies in faraway villages in case of emergencies, the medical officer started giving them cell phones, which he introduced from his personal pocket.
He says it labored like a attraction.
“From simply seven or eight deliveries per 30 days until three years in the past, the PHC right now caters to a median of 25-30 deliveries per 30 days. In April 2022, we noticed 40 deliveries,” Dr Ganesh tells The Higher India.
Cellular wale physician
In response to a research titled ‘Maternal Supply at House: Points in India’, ladies who personal cell phones and use SMS delivered at house much less usually.
The research states that, “Digital empowerment, by way of utilization of cell phones and SMS facility, elevated the attention of ladies concerning varied healthcare points and thereby contributed to their additional sensitisation. By utilizing cell phones, ladies dwelling in rural India had been in a position to keep in touch with healthcare employees comparable to Accredited Social Well being Activists (ASHAs) and acquired necessary updates, thereby serving to them to hunt correct supply care.”
Counting on this truth, Dr Ganesh incentivises ladies dwelling in very distant areas by giving them cell phones. He’s popularly generally known as “cell wale physician” and has given telephones to greater than 100 ladies thus far.
“By utilizing the cellphone, they’re able to keep up a correspondence with the mitanins (well being care employees) and inform us if they’re feeling unwell. We, in flip, can inform them about immunisations as soon as the kid is born. I give them fundamental telephones which price Rs 1,000, and provides Rs 500 to the ladies who accompany the pregnant woman,” says the 59-year-old.
The telephones additionally assist the PHC employees keep in contact with the mitanins on floor, in addition to the pregnant ladies themselves. “Our employees can stay in fixed contact with the ladies, even at night time, to deal with doubts or queries. In case of an emergency, we ship an ambulance,” provides Dr Ganesh Babu.
One other factor that has helped improve the variety of institutional deliveries is the presence of a pre-birth room on the PHC, says the medical officer.
“A pre-birth room was arrange within the PHC by the federal government. On this facility, we encourage pregnant ladies who keep in very distant places to come back to the centre three-four days earlier than supply. Meals and care is offered to them and their relations until they’re discharged. This additionally helps in stopping house births,” says Dr Ganesh.
A pivotal transformation
In the meantime, it’s not simply mortality that turns into a problem for house births.
“Whereas some moms die as a result of extreme bleeding in such house births, many have lifelong issues like continual anaemia because of the bleeding. My thought is to keep away from that and assist moms with a very good, wholesome life,” says Dr Ganesh.
Workers on the PHC say that the centre has seen lots of improvement below his tenure.
He sleeps on the hospital itself to take care of emergencies.
“Earlier, emergency instances could be referred to Dantewada district hospital, which may be very removed from right here. After Dr Ganesh got here right here, the variety of sufferers in OPD and IPD has improved tremendously. We see virtually 80-90 outpatients every day. He’s current on the hospital 24 hours and even sleeps right here itself. He didn’t take the quarters given to medical doctors. He sleeps in a room on the centre and attends to sufferers even at night time,” says Ajay Sarkar, a employees at Barsur PHC.
Working intently with the mitanins has additionally borne fruit, Sarkar opines.
“Many individuals keep on the opposite aspect of the Indravati River. There was no bridge until this 12 months. They must cross the river utilizing a rustic boat. Folks staying there didn’t take curiosity in visiting the hospital even for deliveries. Dr Ganesh coordinated with the mitanins and ensured that everybody visits the hospital for check-ups and deliveries,” provides Sarkar.
In the meantime, Dr Ganesh physician is now working with native authorities in direction of making the PHC a 24*7 one.
“Though there’s a 24 hour PHC, it’s virtually 25 kms from right here. We have to cater to sufferers in emergency conditions. It’s not simply an accident which is an emergency. For a dad or mum, a baby having fever can be an emergency. We’re working in direction of making this facility greater, and it’ll hopefully get transformed right into a Group Well being Centre (CHC) in a couple of years,” he says.
Edited by Divya Sethu, Pictures Courtesy Dr Ganesh Babu