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 services, unhealthy roads, and no bridge to cross the river as a few of the causes. In consequence, they must ship at residence.
“Our PHC caters to sufferers from greater than 20 villages. Barsur is situated in Dantewada district, which is a tribal space. Public transport could be very much less and never accessible after 6 pm in most areas. Folks have to come back by foot. The district hospital is nearly 35 km away, which makes it very troublesome for individuals to go there,” Dr Ganesh explains.
“Due to this fact, they’re depending on our centre. There are some villages that are nearly 20 km away from our centre and a few which can be on the opposite facet of the Indravati River. It’s actually powerful for individuals to come back right here from the opposite facet,” he provides.
Dr Ganesh relied on an atypical resolution to try to shut this hole — cellphones. To keep up a continuing stream of communication with ladies in far off villages in case of emergencies, the medical officer started giving them cellphones, which he introduced from his personal pocket.
He says it labored like a allure.
“From simply seven or eight deliveries per thirty days until three years in the past, the PHC at this time caters to a median of 25-30 deliveries per thirty days. In April 2022, we noticed 40 deliveries,” Dr Ganesh tells The Higher India.
Cell wale physician
In accordance with a research titled ‘Maternal Supply at Residence: Points in India’, ladies who personal cellphones and use SMS delivered at residence much less typically.
The research states that, “Digital empowerment, when it comes to utilization of cellphones and SMS facility, elevated the notice of ladies concerning numerous healthcare points and thereby contributed to their additional sensitisation. Through the use of cellphones, ladies dwelling in rural India have been in a position to keep in touch with healthcare staff resembling Accredited Social Well being Activists (ASHAs) and acquired necessary updates, thereby serving to them to hunt correct supply care.”
Counting on this reality, Dr Ganesh incentivises ladies dwelling in very distant areas by giving them cellphones. He’s popularly often known as “cellular wale physician” and has given telephones to greater than 100 ladies thus far.
“Through the use of the cellphone, they can communicate with the mitanins (well being care staff) 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 workers keep in contact with the mitanins on floor, in addition to the pregnant ladies themselves. “Our workers can stay in fixed contact with the ladies, even at evening, to handle 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 members of the family until they’re discharged. This additionally helps in stopping residence births,” says Dr Ganesh.
A pivotal transformation
In the meantime, it’s not simply mortality that turns into a difficulty for residence births.
“Whereas some moms die attributable to extreme bleeding in such residence births, many have lifelong issues like persistent anaemia because of the bleeding. My thought is to keep away from that and assist moms with an excellent, wholesome life,” says Dr Ganesh.
Employees on the PHC say that the centre has seen loads of growth below his tenure.
He sleeps on the hospital itself to take care of emergencies.
“Earlier, emergency circumstances could be referred to Dantewada district hospital, which could 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 nearly 80-90 outpatients each day. He’s current on the hospital 24 hours and even sleeps right here itself. He didn’t take the quarters given to docs. He sleeps in a room on the centre and attends to sufferers even at evening,” says Ajay Sarkar, a workers at Barsur PHC.
Working carefully with the mitanins has additionally borne fruit, Sarkar opines.
“Many individuals keep on the opposite facet 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 the direction of making the PHC a 24*7 one.
“Though there’s a 24 hour PHC, it’s nearly 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 mum or dad, a toddler having fever can also be an emergency. We’re working in the direction of making this facility larger, and it’ll hopefully get transformed right into a Group Well being Centre (CHC) in a number of years,” he says.
Edited by Divya Sethu, Photos Courtesy Dr Ganesh Babu