A report based on monitoring of 126 Rural Health Centers (RHCs) in 81 districts in March 2013.
ISLAMABAD, 11th August 2013: Seventeen percent of the monitored RHCs did not have staff to run Malaria Control Program in the community. The lack is observed despite a surge in malaria cases which went up from 1,100 to 4,816- an increase of 338%- in December 2012-February 2013 quarter, says a Free and Fair Election (FAFEN) report released on Sunday.
FAFEN governance monitors who visited 126 RHCs in 81 districts reported 22% health facilities without staff to run Control of Diarrheal Disease (CDD) program and 16% lacked staff to treat tuberculosis (TB) patients.
Since heavy rainfall and flood in various parts of the country has left many people homeless and prone to such diseases, it is imperative that health facilities be equipped with specialized staff to address the health emergency that might arise as a result of this calamity.
Medical facilities were also found lacking as 30% of the monitored RHCs did not have x-ray machines. Labour rooms and operation rooms for minor operations were not available in 18% health facilities, oxygen tent 17% and laboratory 12%. Moreover, 10% RHCs were without sterilizers and 7% without syringe cutters.
Ninety one percent RHCs did not have Sui gas connection and 59% were without landline telephones. However, more than four-fifths of the monitored health facilities were housed in proper buildings, had boundary walls and proper roads leading to them.
Medicines were available free of cost in the in-house pharmacy of all RHCs.
As for the appointment of RHC staff against the sanctioned positions, the occupancy rate for medical staff stood at 71% while it was comparatively better for other staff; paramedical (85%), technical (79%) and support staff (92%)
During December 2012-February 2013 quarter, 69 visits were made by government authorities in 56 RHCs. Of these most visits were by EDO health (38), government officials (25), Members Provincial Assembly (4) and elected representatives (2). Most of these visits were made to RHCs in Punjab (46) followed by Sindh, KP (10 each) and Balochistan (3).
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