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Govt bid for better health

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By ANUPAM RANA in Jamshedpur
  • Published 7.12.06

Jamshedpur, Dec. 7: In a bid to provide better healthcare facilities at the grassroot-level, the Jharkhand government has decided to set up a village health community.

To be run and managed by villagers, the community would be set up across 59 blocks of 22 districts in the state in the initial phase. Later, its services would be extended to other blocks.

The village health community is being formed under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), which was kicked off across the country last year.

According to the guidelines of the Centre, panchayat raj institutions are supposed to run the community. But as the Jharkhand government is yet to conduct panchayat polls, the village health community would be presently run and managed by villagers. They will be handed over to the panchayats after the government conducts elections for the rural bodies.

Joint secretary of health department D.K. Saxena told The Telegraph that the government has directed the civil surgeons-cum-chief medical officers to set up village health community.

“The selected blocks of the districts would will village health community soon. The members of the community will appoint the volunteers — “Sahiyya” (in local dialect its means friend in need) — who will be trained enough to look after minor health problems,” Saxena said.

He pointed out that village health community would work as the extended hand of the government.

“It will also work as a bridge between the government and villagers and inform the latter about new health schemes sponsored by the Centre as well as the state government. It will also work to educate villagers about various health aspects. The members of the community will also play a greater role to check the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate,” Saxena said.