Health post run by women in dire straits for lack of equipmentHealth workers forced to refer patients to hospitals in Dhulikhel and Banepa
Kattikedeurali Health Post in Chaurideurali-6, Kavre, which is run entirely by a set of skilled women, has not been able to extend its services to those in need of medical assistance. The reason being that although they have the skill to run the health post, they do not have the required equipment.
The health post with seven employees—all female—is headed by senior Auxiliary Health Worker (AHW) Ganga Laxmi Ranjitkar.
Since the health post is run by women, it attracts a lot of women patients, mostly for ease of interaction, communication and the comfort with which they can openly talk about their problems, said Sharada Giri, an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM).
Giri said that even though the health post has limited resources, those who have received treatment at the post have been satisfied with its services.
However, Seeta Lama, an ANM, said that although the staff is skilled to deal with medical emergencies, critical patients still have to be ferried to Dhulikhel and Banepa-based hospitals due to a lack of necessary equipment and essential medicines at the health post.
“All of us have the knowledge and the skill to treat patients here,” Lama said. “But because we do not have an Ultrasonography machine to undergo Fetal ultrasound in our birthing centre, we have to send pregnant women in need of immediate care to hospitals in nearby towns.”
According to Lama, pregnant women have to travel on dilapidated roads to reach Dhulikhel or Banepa to seek services as basic as getting an ultrasound.
“Every month, three to four pregnant women come to the birthing centre for delivery,” Lama said. “We have to refer critical patients to other health facilities, as we don’t have proper equipment and medicines to stop excessive bleeding in case of a difficult birth.”
The health facility used to operate from under a tent since its previous building got destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. They recently moved to a new building that was funded by a UN body.
However, health workers say very few people visit the health facility these days, as it lacks proper equipment and medicines.