Paediatric trauma management ‘messed up’ in peripheries 

Srinagar: The paediatric trauma management care is taking a hit in the peripheries as the absence of required infrastructure and paediatricians in the entire peripheral healthcare in Kashmir is proving to be the biggest reason for the mess.

The absence of paediatric trauma management in the peripheries is having multifaceted effects on the primary and tertiary healthcare in the valley.

“It may seem like a problem in peripheries, but its effects are felt all the way up to the tertiary level,” said a senior official posted in the health department.

The absence of required infrastructure is forcing medics to refer the patients to Srinagar for specialized treatment, which is said to be adding to the already pressurized paediatric healthcare system at the tertiary level.

With government’s failure of devising a policy to provide better paediatric care, sources say that it is affecting the functioning of the healthcare system at both the levels- primary and tertiary.

Notably, Kashmir is currently having only one child care hospital situated at Sonwar, which is catering to the paediatric needs of the entire population and is facing a rush of patients which is beyond its set capacity.

“Currently, there is no focus on enhancing the infrastructure in terms of paediatric care in peripheries and the most essential, paediatric trauma management-is also absent as of now,” sources said.

Pertinently, the government is mulling to come up with additional paediatric hospital at Bemina, which as per experts is not going to lessen the burden as the infrastructure needs to be ‘more localized.’

“Government instead of coming up with an additional paediatric hospitals in north and south is amassing the infrastructure in Srinagar,” sources said.

“There is a dire need of coming up with small hospitals. One in south and one in north Kashmir. Hospitals which would be entirely dedicated for the paediatric care, that way the facilities would be more localized, and will eventually help in increasing the efficiency of the system,” sources added.

Currently, the referral rate from peripheries to Srinagar, in case of neonatals in higher in terms of other referrals, which is affecting the working of the lone child care hospital at Sonwar and is also said to be the main cause of neonatal deaths at the tertiary and peripheral level.

Apart from absence of infrastructure in terms of paediatric care, the peripheries in Kashmir are also lacking the required services of paediatricians. Currently, as per figures, there are only 36 paediatricians working in peripheries, catering to the needs of enormous population of 11 districts of Kashmir division.

Pertinently, there are only 58 sanctioned posts for paediatricians in Kashmir Division, out of which only 36 are in position and 22 posts are still lying vacant.

Amid all this, the monthly work done statement available on Director Health Services Kashmir reveals that around 4075 deliveries were carried out in peripheries in the month of January, out of which 2680 were carried out normally, however, at the time of complications the neonatals are referred to Srinagar for specialized treatment, whenever needed, the statement says.

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