Turkwangam’s wait for health care stretches for years

Turkwangam’s wait for health care stretches for years
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SHOPIAN: Comprising over 30 villages, Turkwangam in southern Kashmir’s district Shopian is craving the completion of a New Type Primary Health Centre (NTPHC) which was sanctioned by the government many years ago at a project cost of Rs 2.34 crore.
Locals from the area said that they were facing tough times due to the lack of health care facilities in the area. They said that the Turkwangam health centre was ignored by the government as work is proceeding at a snail’s pace on the under-construction, two-storey building while locals were forced to visit the hospitals of other districts like Pulwama and Anantnag for even minor ailments.
“For simple treatments like headache or dressing for an injury, we are forced to go to Pulwama and Shopian, covering huge distances and spending a lot of money,” Syed Shuja, a local resident, said while demanding speedy completion of the hospital which was started some five years ago in the village.
Turkwangam village is situated some 13 kilometres from the district headquarters of Shopian, and there is no health centre in an over 10 km radius. The area is composed of over 30 villages which also have no health care facilities.
Locals said that besides a facility to attend to other minor ailments, the area also craves for a child birth facility. “Having tough situation and military movements, accidents and violence-related incidents, the lack of health care facilities results in deaths of injured persons as well as leads to the more chronic stages of injuries and delivery cases,” Bilal Ahmad Lone, another resident, said.
Officials from the Health Department told Kashmir Reader that the construction of the Turkwangam hospital was started with the sanction of Rs 2.34 crores, but the delay in release of funds led to delay in conpletion of construction. “It will take one more year for the completion of this two-storey building. We have completed 80 percent work in the amount which was released by the government,” Chief Medical Officer Shopian Dr Abdul Rasheed told Kashmir Reader.
He added that currently an ANM staffer is providing services in the local dispensary at Turkwangam. “Till the completion of the building, we have no such arrangement there to depute a doctor. Doctors will be deputed soon after the building will be completed,” he said.