The sub-centre at Khaprikala: An example of convergence
The villagers of Khaprikala, especially the pregnant women, had to travel over 13 Kms to avail medical facilities at the district hospital in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh. There was a sub-centre at Dongargoan, but it was in a dilapidated rented building with no proper medical equipment for the ANMs to render their services. Only immunization services were available thanks to the special efforts of the ANM, mitanins and the field NGO, Adarsh Nav Yuvak Mandal, appointed under the Mother NGO scheme.
The ANMs had been requesting the health department to make arrangement for a well equipped sub-centre but their efforts had not yielded any results. Seeing the need of the people, even though the village is not under its project area, the field NGO worked to improve the sub-centre.
The committed ANMs and the Multi Purpose Workers (MPWs) persistently raised the need for a well–equipped medical centre, especially for pregnant women, at the gram sabha meetings and sensitized the panchayat members. The members then decided to provide an unused building at a convenient location on the main road for a sub-centre till the time the health department makes a permanent arrangement. They passed a resolution in this connection. They also helped the ANMs procure all necessary equipment, tapping the health department’s resources. The FNGO helped in mobilising the villagers for the cause.
The sub-centre was erected with all necessary equipment. The community facilitated electrical connection for the building. The members are now working to tap the total sanitation campaign scheme under the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) through which the building will soon have a permanent toilet. Till the toilet is built, the neighbouring houses are providing toilet facilities. The sub-centre now is in a position to provide three beds for pregnant women simultaneously.
After the centre was established, the ANM has lived up to the expectations of the village and ensured 14 normal deliveries. Only one woman had to be referred to the district hospital.
The sub-centre is a good example of convergence. It was established by using resources of the PHED and health departments, and the civil society and the community contributed to it becoming an important health service delivery institution in the village.