Dhar (Madhya Pradesh): Amid the tall claims of the health department of providing all necessary health services in the remote areas of the Dhar district, the department, which is currently grappling with a shortage of medical staff and resources, is facing another problem.
Here, the community health officers (CHO) posted at as many as 117 sub-health centres (SHC) out of 579 reportedly not involved in the vaccination work.
It is all happening despite having clear instructions from the government that CHOs should be involved in vaccination work if there is no Auxiliary Nursing Midwifery (ANM) available at SHC.
They continue to disregard the guidelines and recommendations, causing further frustration among the public. This lack of compliance not only puts individuals at risk but also undermines the efforts made by the government to tackle the situation effectively.
The health department is now urgently seeking solutions to address the shortage of medical staff and resources as well as finding alternative ways to ensure that vaccination services reach all communities in the district.
Notably, Dhar district has 579 sub-health centres in which 462 have ANM and CHO, while the remaining 117 do not have ANMs. In the absence of ANMs, CHO has to get the vaccination done, but they are reportedly not involved in the work, leading to undue delay.
As per the orders, both CHOs and ANMs have to be involved in vaccination work, and if there is no CHO or ANM available at the SHC, the department team gets involved in the vaccination work.
Many of the ANM here accused the block medical officers and CHO of pressuring them to deliver vaccination duty.
As per the information, CHOs were appointed at SHC after three-and-a-half years of nurse training. During the training period, they were taught how to administer injections, vaccines, and IV fluids to patients.
However, many of the CHOs posted at the SHCs denied getting involved in vaccination duties, saying that they were not trained to do this work. This has raised concerns among healthcare authorities.
Sources claimed that despite Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Dr Narsingh Gehlot's repeated instructions to the block medical officers (BMO), the vaccination process continues to face obstacles. Immediate action must be taken to ensure that the vaccination is carried out effectively and efficiently.
Sources added that these CHOs used to get funds between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh in their accounts, and they used to grease BMO palms to stay away from these duties. As a result of this, BMOs often do not take any action against these CHOs.
When contacted, CMHO Dr Gehlot said that the department had given instructions to BMOs in the past and there has been a lot of improvement so far. The department will again instruct BMOs and if any CHO refuses to work, we ask BMO to send the report in writing and the department will take disciplinary action or even terminate them from services.