Health workers in Birgunj local unit found absent from dutyAn inspection team from Paterwa Sugauli Rural Municipality found health workers in all four health posts of the local unit absent from duty for over a week without informing authorities.
On Friday afternoon, an inspection team from Paterwa Sugauli Rural Municipality reached Nichuta Health Post at Ward No.5 following complaints that the clinic was without any health workers. The team led by Bhujendra Yadav, the administrative officer of the local unit, found that the clinic’s auxiliary health worker Uday Sah has been absent from work for the past 15 days without informing the authorities.
Health workers need to inform the health section of their respective local units beforehand if they require leave from their job but most health workers in the rural municipality of Parsa, a hotspot of coronavirus in Province 2, are found absent from their duty stations without having informed the local unit.
“The monitoring team found that most health workers remained absent from their duty in Nichuta Health Post. A few who did come to work were found not completing their duty hours in the office," Bhujendra Yadav, the administrative officer of the local body, told the Post. “We visited all four health posts in the rural municipality on Friday and none of the health workers assigned on duty were present.”
According to the attendance register at Sonbarsha Health Post in Ward No. 1, the in-charge of the health post and the auxiliary health worker had not been to work for the past 18 days.
"The health workers are found to be absent at a time when they are expected to be available to provide health services and consultation to the locals,” said Yadav. “We will first ask for a written clarification from the absent health workers. We will then proceed for legal action if their answers are not found satisfactory.”
In Gadi Health Post, auxiliary health worker duo Reyaj Ansari and Santosh Chaudhary were found present on paper but they were not at the health facility when the monitoring team reached there at around 11:30am on Friday. According to the locals, Ansari and Chaudhary have been running a private health clinic at Gadi Bazaar.
"They sign the attendance register and leave for their clinic everyday. We have informed the health unit of the rural municipality several times but no action has been taken against them," said Sarfudin Ansari of Gadi.
As per the record at the Gadi Health Post, of late, around 60 people visit the health facility on a daily basis.
"The patients are deprived of treatment, as the health workers are not present in their duty stations. As a result, we are compelled to get treatment at private clinics," said Sarfudin.
Locals also complained that the health post takes four months from the delivery time to provide allowances to postpartum mothers.
Similarly, the locals of Nichuta also complained of a shortage of medicines for non-communicable diseases like diabetes and blood pressure at the health post.
Karna Sah, the in-charge at the health post, admitted to the shortage of medicines at the facility. However, according to Jagannath Sah, the chief at the health unit of the rural municipality, all the health posts were supplied with the medicines as per their demands just a week ago.