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Surprise inspections have increased docs? attendance at CHCs, PH

It was not an easy task to manage four districts in Allahabad Division, with government health programme falling behind the target in each of the district.
By Smriti Malaviya | None, Allahabad
PUBLISHED ON APR 23, 2006 12:00 AM IST

It was not an easy task to manage four districts in Allahabad Division, with government health programme falling behind the target in each of the district.

Yet, Dr SK Srivastava, additional director (health), Allahabad Division, not only managed to put health programmes back on track but with his administrative abilities also significantly improved the family planning targets in Pratapgarh, Allahabad and Kaushambi. His approach towards the programme is simple and quite effective. "Satisfied acceptor (one who undergoes the family planning operation) is the best propagator," he says. With his rich clinical experience and varied knowledge of government schemes, he can easily identify the gaps and provide on-the-spot solution to maintain the continuity of health programmes. Dr Srivastava, who was earlier posted at Lucknow, Lakhimpur, Ghazipur, Gopeshwar, Etawah, Barabanki, Hamirpur, Hardoi and Baghpat, has no qualms in accepting the drawbacks of his departments. In a tête-à-tête with Smriti Malaviya, Dr Srivastava listed his priorities and discussed various other problems in the implementation of health programmes.

What is the main concern area you have identified in the division?
Non-availability of doctors at CHCs and PHCs is the main problem in all the four districts. Not only Allahabad division, this complaint has become very frequent in other divisions also. But of late the situation has improved with the intervention of High Court. The surprise inspections have increased the attendance of doctors. However, strict disciplinary action is taken against doctors playing truant. The gram pradhans and block development officers are also asked to counter sign the inspection reports, so that there is no scope for tampering the reports.

What are your main priorities for this season?
Right now we have to keep a close watch on the diarrhoea, gastroenteritis and malaria cases specially in the rural areas. In view of these threats the bleaching and chlorination of wells has already started. The first phase of chlorination is expected to complete by April 30. The food inspectors have been alerted to closely monitor the sale of open food in market. Besides, we are also preparing anti-malaria programme, under which intensive fogging will be conducted in those areas where Annual Parasitic Incidence (API) is more than two per cent. Last year intensive fogging was conducted in Shankargarh, Meja and Karchana. However, it is not possible to conduct intensive fogging in the entire division due to staff crisis.

When other three districts managed to achieve over 80 per cent target, why Fatehpur lagged behind in family planning programme?
It was because of mainly three reasons. Lack of leadership and supervision, no proper survey and less number of camps organised in the district. This year district health officials at Fatehpur have been warned to improve their target. I have also insisted on providing quality services at the sterilisation camp. After all the satisfied acceptor is the best propagator of the programme.

What do you think is required for the success of family planning and other health programmes?
There is a need for one-to-one approach for making any of the government health programme successful. We have to make people understand that family planning is their need and not merely a government programme. There is also need to provide quality service.

The people should be made to understand the concept  and need of small families.
The programmes can also become successful with 'give and take' policy just like in Bangladesh. If people are made to partly invest in health infrastructure, they will understand its importance and try to maintain it. 

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