Lack of health infrastructure remains a problem for South West Khasi Hills.
This was revealed during an interaction between members of the Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment and officials of the district today at the multi-purpose hall of DC office campus in Mawkyrwat.
Chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment Ampareen Lyngdoh along with members of the committee – Himalaya M. Shnagpliang, Rupert M. Momin, Miani D. Shira and Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar took up various issues related to women in the district.
Deputy Commissioner of South West Khasi Hills, Caramai Kharkongor told the Assembly panel that the maternal mortality rate due to anaemia in the district is quite high.
She however said that 58 per cent of those enrolled in Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme are women and home visit by health workers in the district has almost covered 90 per cent.
As far as the Covid-19 pandemic is concerned, Kharkongor informed that around 890 families affected by the pandemic have been given food supplies and essential items by the district authorities.
District Medical and Health Officer Dr. Firstborn R. Lartang who was also present stated that from March to August this year, the infant mortality rate in the district is 48 per cent while maternal mortality rate is 5 per cent.
He also informed that the district hospital did not have operation theatre, surgeon, paediatrician, gynaecologist, blood bank technician and other infrastructural requirements.
Dr. Lartang said that the district has two community health centres and four primary health centres with few doctors and nine ambulances.
He admitted that some health centres in the district are not functional because of lack of manpower and infrastructure.
District Social Welfare Officer L Lyngdoh told the Assembly Committee members that there is only one girls’ home in the district with a holding capacity of 20.
Stating that presently there are 14 girls lodged at the girls’ home, Lyngdoh said that some of these girls were orphans while others had family distress and some were victims of sexual assault.
Superintendent of Police, Maxwell B. Syiem said that there were 54 cases registered under POCSO Act in the district in the last one year out of which 47 have been disposed of while seven are pending in court.
He also said that five cases have been registered during the last one year for crimes against women at the women police station in Mawkywat.
However, there are some silver linings for women in the district as authorities said that 21,452 women have benefited from nutrition programmes in the first quarter and 21,772 in the second quarter.
Informing this, Child Development Programme Officer H Sahkhar said that 428 Anganwadi workers are involved in nutrition programme in the district.
Mawkyrwat Block Development Officer Ferdinand B. Basan said that 55 per cent of job card holders in Mawkyrwat Block are women.
He also informed that there are776 self help groups involved in women empowerment in the district.
Ranikor Block Development Officer Lamphrang G M Kharmih informed that 52 per cent of job card holders in Ranikor Block are women.