FACING SHORTAGE of regular/ad hoc staff, the health department is looking for volunteers to run the Fever Treatment Depot (FTD) and Drug Distribution Centre (DDC), under its malaria office.
In charges of all the community health centres and primary health centres in the district have been asked to categorically look for enthusiastic youths, active Aanganwadi workers and ASHA appointees, ready to volunteer for this job ‘without any extra remuneration.’
This is being done at a time when crores are spent every year on awareness programmes and publicity material for disease control and treatment of common ailments. The plea is simple. “We are running short of staff as against the sanctioned strength, only one third is presently working in the department,” said district malaria officer (DMO) Dr AK Singh.
“Moreover,” he added, “the number of sanctioned staff is the same since 1958 and has not been revised.”
FTDs are required at a population of 3,000 while DDC are a must at every population 1000 in rural areas. This is necessary to control and cater to patients of fever and other common ailments and to distribute preventive medicines through the malaria control department.
Until now, this task was assigned to multipurpose staff (MS) deployed under the department. However, the strength of MS posted through the ‘Multipurpose Act-1983’ is only one-third of the required ratio. There has to be one MS at every population of 5,000 but the ratio is one for 25,000..
Thus the task of survey and sampling in villages, required every fortnight, is at present being done at a gap of three months, leaving a wide gap in the task of continuous monitoring.
“Shortage of baseline workers or MS has seriously hampered the working in the department. But we expect volunteers will fill this gap to some extent,” said Dr Singh.
Officials at CHCs and PHCs have been asked to submit the list of volunteers within a week so that the survey kits and necessary medicines may be provided to them for extending help to poor villagers.