KUNIKASA KOLAMGUDA (ADILABAD): In stark contrast with the tall claims of authorities and the health department, an iron cart without bullocks lies on the premises of Gadiguda PHC in the interior Gadiguda mandal to shift patients in an emergency from the high-risk areas, throwing light into the appalling situation of healthcare in old Adilabad district. Medical officials call the wagon a ‘bullock cart ambulance’ to be used in emergencies.
A pregnant woman, Madavi Rajubai, 22, of Kunikasa Kolamguda died reportedly due to delay in giving medical treatment on August 22. She belonged to the Kolam tribe that is considered a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG).
Even as the promise of making ‘air ambulance’ services (helicopter) available in emergencies in the interior areas of Telangana remains unfulfilled, only ‘bullock cart ambulances’ are available in the tribal areas of old Adilabad district.
It may be recalled here that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao promised the Adivasis that the government would lift the patients in emergencies by air ambulance to shift them to cities or towns to provide good medical treatment and save lives, while attending legendary leader of Adivasis Komaram Bheem’s death anniversary at Jodeghat five years ago. However, medical and ITDA officials could keep only an iron bullock cart ready at Gadiguda PHC to be used for shifting patients in emergencies from the high-risk villages that are not having road connectivity.
It is found that there was a huge shortage of ambulances at PHCs in the interior tribal areas where patients are not getting access to medical treatment. Pregnant women have to wait for their turn to go for scanning to Adilabad or Utnoor.
Agency additional DMHO Dr Manohar said the ITDA had arranged a bullock cart at Gadiguda PHC to shift patients to hospitals from high-risk villages that have no road connectivity in emergencies. He appealed to the people to avail the service of bullock cart ambulance in emergencies where medical ambulances could not reach the village due to lack of road connectivity.
He said they kept the bullock cart ambulance ready since patients were losing their lives due to delay in shifting them to hospitals for treatment. Manohar said they would pay `1,300 as transport charge to anybody from the high-risk village if they brought patients in their bullock carts in an emergency to the nearest PHC in the tribal area.
Patients, especially pregnant women, and those who suffer from fevers have been facing hardship in reaching the nearest PHC due to lack of road connectivity. They have to cross overflowing rivulets and streams especially during the monsoon to reach the nearest PHC for treatment.
People of interior areas are also facing hardships in transporting the patients due to the existing low-level bridges which can be flooded during rains....