Beyond Call Of Duty: Odisha Doctor Carries Patient On Sling For 5 Km, Wins Hearts
Putting service before self, a doctor with an ambulance driver, carried an ailing orphan teenager on a makeshift sling for over 5 km in remote hilly terrain to in Odisha’s Malkangiri district due to lack of roads, on Tuesday, September 17.
— OTV (@otvnews) September 17, 2019
The physician, Dr Shakti Prasad Mishra, is an Ayurveda doctor posted in the Khairaput Block of Malkangiri district for a health unit project under the National Health Mission (NHM).
On Tuesday morning, Dr Mishra got a call from Nuagada village about a tribal teenager named Kumulu Kirsani who was suffering from fever for a few days. The boy’s condition had become serious and needed immediate medical care. But his elder sister was unable to contact anyone due to the lack of communication facilities in the village.
As his condition was severe, he had to be shifted to the Malkangiri District Headquarter Hospital. The ambulance parked 5 km away could not reach the village due to hilly terrain and absence of road connectivity. Dr Mishra had no option but to trek to the village and carry the boy on a sling with the help of ambulance driver.
“Having no other way to save the patient, the ambulance driver Gobind Nagulu and I decided to carry him on a makeshift sling,” Dr Mishra told The Hindu. Going beyond the call of duty, the doctor and the driver trekked through the hilly jungle terrain and cross mountain streams for two hours to reach the main road where the ambulance was parked.
Hailing from the Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha, Dr Mishra has been serving in remote areas of Malkangiri district since 2012. “The satisfaction that a physician gets by serving to save a life, the ultimate level, is a joy to cherish,” he said, narrating his experience.
This incident comes after constant criticism of the health sector in Odisha for poor service. On September 1, a 27-year-old woman lost her newborn baby in Gurudijhatia town of Cuttack since the primary health centre she approached for emergency delivery was closed on Sunday morning. In a helpless condition, the woman delivered under a tree but the newborn did not survive.
As per government statistics, 28 per cent of doctors posts in Primary Health Centres (PHCs) are vacant while at the community health centre level, it is nearly 90 per cent. In Malkangiri district alone, 71 doctor posts remain vacant.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently included healthcare feedback in his proposed ‘Mo Sarkar’ (My Government) programme, scheduled to begin from October 2. Under the programme, Patnaik will interact with people directly to understand and monitor the efficiency of services delivered by police and healthcare officials in villages and towns across the state.
“Under Mo Sarkar, the citizen will not chase us. We will follow up with the complainant as to how he was treated at the police station and how his complaint was dealt with,” Patnaik told The New Indian Express.