Boko: The Assam state government operates a health sub-centre in a pitiful condition at Gohalkona village, located in Kamrup district’s Boko Assembly Constituency.
The centre, previously known as Gohalkona Sub-Center, is situated along the Assam-Meghalaya border and is approximately 11 kilometres from Boko and 70 kilometres from Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH).
It is worth mentioning that the centre operates in a dilapidated house, where activities such as normal delivery, non-communicable disease screening and treatment, child vaccination, antenatal check-ups, and providing Ayushman Bharat cards are conducted.
The centre is managed by one Community Health Officer (CHO), Yashmin Begum, one Multi-Purpose Worker (MPW, Male), Atanu Medhi, two ANM nurses, Claraverna Sangma (under DHS) and Lakhyahira Rabha (under NHM), along with three ASHAs (Accredited Social and Health Activists).
Atanu Medhi, the MPW (Male) of the centre, stated, “According to the rules, this type of centre should have its own government building, but I have been working at this centre since 2010, and no government building has been constructed for it to date.”
Medhi further added, “The house where our centre is located was donated by the villagers, and its condition is very poor. The roofing sheets are tied up with bamboo, and every year, we have to repair the house after thunderstorms with the help of the local public and untied funds from the centre. Even though officials from the National Health Mission Circle office surveyed and took GPS locations several times, and the people of Gohalkona village provided the necessary land, the government has not constructed a building for the centre yet.”
It should be noted that medical services are being provided in a house that overlooks the sky. However, a recent thunderstorm blew away the roofing sheets, causing the documents to get wet. The documents were later dried in the sunlight, and with the help of villagers, the centre was repaired.
Atanu Medhi pointed out that the Assam government has not shown any interest in building a government building in the area because it is situated along the Assam-Meghalaya border and inhabited by the Garo tribal community. Although higher officials frequently visit the centre, local people feel deprived of government support due to their location along the border areas.
In a recent meeting at Gohalkona Playground, the centre management committee and local villagers decided to submit a memorandum to the Assam Chief Minister through the Boko Revenue Circle officer to construct a new building for the Gohalkona Medical Center. Atanu Medhi, MPW (Male), mentioned that they need to cover two revenue villages, Gohalkona and Lepgaon, with a population of around 2000. Despite operating in a dilapidated house, the centre successfully carried out 33 normal delivery cases in a year, and so far this year, nine normal delivery cases have been completed.
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