A sudden decrease in the number of patients in all hospitals of Keonjhar district during the corona-induced lockdown has posed a question mark as to whether health services are still accessible to the common people.
According to sources, about 500 patients visit the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) on a normal day, but the number has drastically fallen after the lockdown came into force.
This overcrowded hospital has now many vacant beds in wards while only a few patients are visiting the OPD.
This trend has also been marked in all PHCs and CHCs. Keonjher is a malaria-prone district and has high child mortality rate and maternity mortality rate and malnutrition cases. Now, question is if the coronavirus crisis has magically healed all these diseases!
The halting of all public transport system and strict action by police to keep people confined at home during the lockdown can be the reason behind many serious patients being unable to reach hospitals. The district health authorities claim to have put adequate ambulance service for patients, but it seems the service has failed to shift the patients or the patients are not able to access this service.
Most of the drug stores in the district are running with shortage of various medicines. The Health Department has focussed so much on Covid-19 that normal treatment of other deceases is at stake. The blood banks are also running out of stock.
While the district administration has begun a door-to-door survey to find out corona suspects by engaging health and Anganwadi Workers, people suffering from other diseases are bound to be neglected, view many.