Doctors, skilled health workers providing specialist services in remote health postLocals say the arrival of doctors has saved them much time and energy.
Sunita Sharma, an 80-year-old woman from Luham Bazar in ward 6 of Triveni Rural Municipality, has been suffering from varicose veins and diabetes for several years, and every time she needed any kind of treatment or counselling, she was forced to go to the Salyan District Hospital or hospitals in Nepalgunj in Banke spending Rs5,000 or more.
Sharma said that even for a minor diabetes check-up, she had to go to the district hospital, or Nepalgunj, and due to her condition, she always had to wait for others to take her to the facilities. Sanni Triveni Rural Municipality is a remote local unit of this hilly district with very few facilities, especially in terms of health.
But after MBBS doctors and skilled health workers started providing services from the local health post located at Luham Bazar, Sharma no longer had to spend hours to reach the district hospital and facilities in Nepalgunj. “Nowadays I myself go to the health post and come back home after my health checkups,” she said.
Similarly, Nirmala Bohara, a 65-year-old woman also from Luham, is a diabetic patient, and her struggle is also the same as Sharma.
“After the request of the locals, the local unit hired a doctor for the health post some four months ago, which has ended our struggle of going to the district hospital, or Nepalgunj,” Bohara said. “Not only the elderly, but due to the absence of a doctor, post-x-ray services and maternity services were also unavailable here. Now people can not only save money but also their time and energy.”
According to Khim Bahadur Rawat, chairman of Triveni Rural Municipality, due to the hustle of travel, locals were deprived of diabetes checkups, x-rays, and maternity services, among other health services that are only possible in the presence of a doctor.
“Patients and pregnant women were avoiding routine checkups, and in order to promote good health care and institutional birth in the rural municipality, we hired the doctor with our own separate budget,” Rawat said. “After the arrival of doctors in the health post, locals of Triveni and two wards of neighbouring Kapurkot and Chhatreswari rural municipalities are also receiving services.”
According to Prabhat Shrestha, head of the health unit of Triveni Rural Municipality, after the arrival of the MBBS doctor in the facility, it began providing 24 hours of emergency service throughout the year and door-to-door services for senior citizens and disabled patients.
“Earlier, only four to five patients used to visit the post in two days, but now more than 30 patients visit the post daily and the doctor and health workers make sure all are taken care of,” Shrestha said. “There is a doctor, four health workers, and a lab technician in the five-bed facility.”
Dr Sandip Oli, head of the health post, said that routine checkups help people find out diseases at an early stage, which can be cured in time easily.
“Among the patients who visit the health post, patients with chronic illnesses and pregnant women are the most benefited. Locals in here and surrounding areas have started understanding the importance of institutional birth and routine checkups,” Oli said. “Except for the intensive care services and complex surgeries, we provide almost all the health services from here. Unlike other health facilities, which provide services only from 10 am to 2 pm, we provide services even on holidays.”