Even as cholera is spreading its tentacles in the backward district of Nabarangpur taking several lives, 70 doctor posts are lying vacant making it almost impossible for the district administration to fight the disease.
The sanctioned strength of doctors in the district is 128. But there are only 58 doctors, at present. Many community health centres (CHCs) and primary health centres (PHCs) do not have doctors making it very difficult for the administration to tackle the situation, Nabarangpur MP Pradip Majhi told this paper. Out of 39 specialist posts (paediatrics) in the district, only three are in place. The district has a population of over 12 lakh [1.2 million].
The Nabarangpur District Congress has decided to stage a demonstration in front of the collectorate on September 24 to protest the neglect of the area by the State Government.
When cholera broke out in the district, it does not have a regular chief district medical officer (CDMO). Four CDMOs have been changed during the last seven months and now a junior doctor has been kept in charge of CDMO, Majhi said. The junior doctor has also been kept in charge of nine other departments, including malaria eradication.
Alleging that the district administration has completely failed to tackle the situation, the Congress MP said senior doctors were allowed to take leave from many CHCs when diarrhoea was spreading in the area. Many lives could have been saved had there been doctors there, the MP said and demanded immediate steps to tackle the deteriorating situation.