Pregnant women suffer in Assam rural hospitals: committee

GUWAHATI: An assembly committee on Welfare of Women and Children in Assam has expressed concern at the sufferings of pregnant women in rural hospitals due to severe lack of doctors, staff and equipment.

The committee's chairperson Jonjonali Baruah, MLA, said, "Due to lack of adequate doctors, nurses and supporting staff in the public health centres, community health centres and civil hospitals, all patients particularly the pregnant women suffer a lot at the time of admission to these health centres."

After a survey on all the rural hospitals in the state, it was found that doctors were reluctant to be posted in villages, she said.

In its report submitted to the assemely, the committee, she said, recommended that the health and family welfare department officials should visit these centres to find out the number of doctors and supporting staff required to be appointed.

The rural hospitals should be immediately provided with generator sets, X-ray machines, ambulances and ICU as most of them lack such facilities, she said.

The committee expressed happiness at the government's numerous welfare measures for the poor in the state but
lamented that the department concerned had not taken adquate
measures to spread it amongst the rural people.

The government should take steps to make rural people aware of the welfare schemes through public meetings, camps, street plays and leaflets as most of the village homes have no television where the schemes are publicised.

On the existing women welfare homes, Baruah said the members were appalled by the dilapidated condition of the houses where the female inmates were living.

Each inmate was paid Rs 27 per day for her daily diet which was insufficient and the committee members urged the government to raise the amount so that the women got proper food.

Stating that child labour was prevalent in the state, the committee urged the social welfare department to take steps to educate the parents of such children on the role of education to make them self reliant.