Vijayawada: One request that the TD officials had to listen to in every village they visited in the Janmabhoomi programme, was the need to have a sonography machine installed in the primary health care centre.
During pregnancy, every time the women of the villages have to get an ultrasound done, they have to go to the government hospitals in town where inadvertently there are huge queues. The installation of the sonography machines in the PHCs in the villages might well get the TD the brownie points it is seeking so earnestly.
There are 1005 villages under 973 panchayats across the districts. There are 88 Primary Health Care Centres. A pregnant woman needs regular monitoring of a gynaecologist. No gynaecologist is available at any PHC, only a general physician is generally present. In a PHC, the GP will refer the patient to the nearest Government Hospital to get a sonography done in the early, middle and later stages of pregnancy.
DMHO of Krishna District said, "In the government hospitals too, there is immense pressure. It is difficult for them to cover all the pregnant women. We have a scarcity of radiologists. Even that job is done by the gynaec. We request PHCs to send only five members a day to the town hospital."
With this kind of situation, many village women spend money to get the sonography done in private hospitals in Vijaywada. Mrs K. Rajyalakshmi, who is a few months pregnant said, "Being pregnant, traveling far is difficult. The Government is conducting Srimantham, treating us as family members. We are asking the Government with the same feeling to arrange one Gynaecologist and Scanning facility at every Primary Health Care Centre".
Mr. Kondal Rao, RMP said that "Many of the villagers need this facility. If this could be done by the Government, the families will be very happy. I have seen many of them going through major trouble to go for these tests. It is not just a financial problem, there is also the risk factor." The scanning equipment will cost almost Rs.5 lakhs. With 88 PHCs, the government will have to make an investment of Rs.4.4 cr. Apart from that, salaries of gynaecologist and radiologist will be added. But whether this expenditure should be incurred or not is a call that the government has to take soon.