Friday, August 15, 2014

Searching for help . . .

The country celebrated it's 68th Independence Day today. Over the day, we had stark reminders of how languished many of our fellow countrymen are. 

The first reminder we had today. 

Around 4:30 pm today, we had a young boy being wheeled in. He was dead. 

Although brought in a Maruti Dezire by a well off guy, it was very evident that the boy hailed from a impoverished background. The history - - he was bitten by a krait at around 4 am today morning. For quite some time, they were doing witchcraft (jaad-phuk). Then someone suggested that they take the boy to a hospital. 

Someone told of the good hospital that was at Tumbagara village, in Palamu who offers good treatment for snake bite. Off they set from Tilouthu town searching for our hospital. 

Do search in google maps. Tilauthu is how it is spelt in google maps. Tilauthu to Satbarwa is whooping 165 kilometers. For those of my friends from Kerala, that is more than the distance from Kottayam to Trivandrum

I wonder how they missed the fact that Tilauthu to Varanasi was the same distance and the road was much better. Varanasi has big hospitals and the famous Banaras Hindu University which has a Medical College. Nearer is Gaya which also boasts of a Medical College. 

When the group drove from Tilauthu to Satbarwa, they traveled through 3 districts. They had started off at around 8 am today morning. On the way, someone advised them of a more powerful wizard in a place called Japla. So they went to Japla. They left Japla at around 2 pm to reach NJH at 4:30 pm. 

Now, if you look at the map, you see that Tilauthu and Japla are on either side of the Sone river. Initially I thought that that the family somehow crossed the Sone river to Japla. But, that was not the case. The family had reached Chattarpur at around 10 am on the way to NJH, when someone gave the advice about the wizard in Japla. 

So, they actually took a detour to go to Japla. The family claimed that when they left Japla at 2 pm the boy was breathing. 

If the family had straightaway come to NJH, maybe we could have saved the boy. 

But, the incident brings to the fore the sad state of healthcare available to many of the communities around us. And of course, the ignorance about snake bite and its treatment. 

Hope at least by next year's independence day, lesser lives will be lost to snake bites . . . 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jeevan,

    You have outlined the real state of healthcare facilities in many districts of Jharkhand, Bihar and Chattisgarh districts. Perhaps in some districts of Odissa and MP too.

    These are the very same districts which are also the breeding ground for the armed extremists. Decades of administrative negligence has created this situation and it is getting further aggravated as the time passes. Poverty and alienation cause malicious thoughts and ideas out of frustration in the minds of the deprived people. And that is indeed something that should open the eyes of everyone who enjoys privileges (at the cost of several others!)

    I had many times thought about this. Had there been no one like you , your wife and your team of medical staff ( qualified doctors and paramedics from the southern most state Kerala) what would have been the situation of the good hospital that was set up by some service oriented people some decades ago? While the medical profession is getting deteriorated as one of a money making profession instead of a service oriented one, your decision to serve in this remote place is indeed something commendable.
    Since I got an opportunity to visit your hospital at Tumbagara and understand the situation there two years ago, I know the hardships you face to carry on with your work.
    And when incidents like the one that you described happen, it pinches all those who are with some conscience!
    May the Almighty God bless you and your team to continue with your dedicated service!