The A’chik Holistic Awakening Movement (AHAM), South Western unit, has opposed the decision of the state government to relocate the planned Maternity and Child Hospital (M&CH) to the border town of Mahendraganj from Ampati in South West Garo Hills.
According to AHAM, a monetary grant had been sanctioned earlier for the set up of the M&CH in Ampati but the state government is now surveying land in Mahendraganj instead for the facility.
“The place is close to the international border, is flood prone and very far away from Ampati (32 kilometres). This distance will cause problems for patients, staff as well as technical assistants as it is very far from the Ampati Civil Hospital and the office of the District Medical and Health Officer (DMHO),” said Wester Sangma, the General Secretary of the AHAM unit in a press release.
The district has a total population of 1,83,560 in 470 villages with nine public health centres (PHCs), two community health centres (CHCs) and the lone civil hospital catering to patients. AHAM stated that around 80 percent of the population will be affected in places under Mellim PHC, Garobadha, Rangsakona and Belbari areas due to the extreme distances.
“Ampati is the centre point and as such the M&CH must be set up here or nearby for patients to be able to access the facilities during emergencies. The administration of the M&CH can be looked after by the Civil Hospital and the DMHO in Ampati. Otherwise the distance is going to cause extreme burdens,” he added.
Sangma stated that a complaint on the matter has been submitted to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma through the Deputy Commissioner on Wednesday.
“We oppose and condemn the move of not following laid down norms and ask the CM to look into this immediately. We demand that the M&CH should be set up at the nearest Civil Hospital as per the norms of the Health Department. There is plenty of land for its construction,” AHAM added.