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RIGHT TO HEALTH

Government Primary Health Centre at village Bidi had attained notoriety for its corrupt practices both by the doctors and nurses. No patient was attended without money and villagers were fed up with the corrupt system, so they decided to District Health Officer (DHO), Belgaum for action. Bidi, Aadi, Golihalli, Junjwad and Handur villagers readily agreed for a demonstration and ghereo. But Bidi villagers were not ready as they were busy with religious festival of village.

Several rounds of meeting took place at all 22 villages, where it was discussed regarding the duties of the medical officer and the functions of the Primary Health Centre, at length. It was decided to document the names of patient who had not got receipt on paying money. This document would be sent to DHO with a written complaint by SHG. People were ready for ghereo and demonstration but it was not difficulties in getting the expected number of complaints. Three days were finalized for the demonstration at Bidi, Itagi and Kakkeri PHC.

Honorary health workers were ready to play a street drama, on health issue. The drama was both educative and critical about the existing health facilities available. They came together for practice at Bidi, Gandigwad and Goshyanatti. Also they spoke to villagers regarding the demonstration and also informed DHO, THO and PHC team regarding the same. In all more than 800 villagers gathered at Bidi on 17th February. Eminent persons from Dharwad, Ms Asha of CRY, from Bangalore participated in the rally. DHO had to come rushing. It was a very successful event and both the DHO and Medical Officer assured the people of proper treatment henceforth.

Again on 20th and 24th February demonstrations were held at the PHC of Itagi and Kakkeri respectively. Both these villages are not within the project area of Jagruti but still there was a good crowd of 400 and 300 at Itagi and Kakkeri. Credit should go to Mr. Ashok and Mr. Gangadhar for the hard work. The demonstration had to clash with gram panchayat members and supporter of the Medical Officer. But once it was made clear by the demonstrators about demonstration, they quickly agreed to support the gathering. The Medical Officer promised that he would never charge services at the PHC. Mr. Prasanna attended the demonstration at Itagi from AID, Bangalore. Mr. Iresh from Kushtagi, a member of JAA K, also participated, for the event at Kakkeri.

HEALTH IS RIGHT OF EVERY CITIZEN It is the poor who often fall sick. Lack of nutrition being one major cause. When the poor fall sick they end up using and loosing meager resources that have been kept aside for whatever nutrition they needed. So in fact poverty and ill health are a vicious circle. Often the poor end up by falling into debt trap when episodes of illness occur in the family.

Illiteracy, ignorance and poverty all contribute to ill health in the rural areas. There is struggle every day for a square meal. To add to the burden people have lost touch with traditional medicines. On the one hand villagers are facing increasing unemployment, lack of proper housing, lack of proper nutrition and lack of safe water and on the other hand they have to face the wrath of the high cost of the modern medicine. When will "Health for All" become a reality?

'Health for All by 2000' was the slogan given by World Health Organization (WHO). And health is ones right as aptly described by WHO. If one wants to achieve Health for All, then the centre of all activities will be the rural government Primary Health Centers. The government Primary Health Centre should be as close to people as possible. Minor day to day ailments like fever, diarrhea, worm infestations and others should be properly attended to by the concerned persons. But the unfortunate tragedy is that often villagers return without any remedy for their illness. The rural government Primary Health Centers in the villages of Bidi, Kakkeri and Itagi (in Khanapur Taluk of Belguam district) are facing too many problems - like lack of doctor, lack of medicines and no services are delivered unless the hospital staff is bribed. There are threats of dire consequences if people take any lead in improving the situation.

There was an incident just last months, when a poor women had to beg money from the streets in the village of Bidi, so that she could pay the doctor his designated corrupt fees, to get treatment for her sick husband!! For conducting a normal delivery there is corruption!! Such inhuman incidences have become a matter of routine. All these events have made the people in the villages to revolt and come on for a demonstration to improve the government Primary Health Centers.

When poor fall sick they are compelled to come to the government health centers, as they just cannot afford the treatment options at the hands of private hospitals and doctors. And more over when it is our right to get treatment at government health centers, then what is the necessary at all to go to private health centers.

With people's involvement, JAGRUTI team members want to bring awareness to the villagers about their right to health care at the government health centers. We are not begging but asking for our rights!

OUR DEMANDS:-

1.Doctor should be available at the Primary Health Centre,
2.Every patient who comes at the centre should get proper treatment.
3.Sterilization procedures should be made available.
4.If any money is taken from the villagers for treatment, then a receipt for the same should be given.

 
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