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#GoodNews: Here’s Why This Kerala PHC is Setting Goals

While this PHC had a daily patient count of about 50 till 2 years ago, it can now boast of a rough 250 patients.

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A primary health centre (PHC) at Noolpuzha in Kerala’s Wayanad has been setting goals for having some of the best and most advanced medical facilities and services available for the public. It includes an in-patient wing, a labour room, an e-health system, telemedicine facilities, two separate toilets for women with sanitary napkin vending machines and incinerators, and a children’s park, reports The Indian Express.

The Noolpuzha PHC, which was established in 1973, is so highly acclaimed at this point that it scored a 98 percent in the national quality certification of PHCs, having received a certificate from the Union Health Ministry for the same just a few days ago. Noolpuzha is also the second-largest tribal panchayat in the state. While this PHC would have a daily patient count of about 50 till even two years ago, it can now boast of a rough 250 patients. It is also part of state-wide initiative where it converted 35 PHCs into family healthcare centres in an attempt to make medical facilities more patient-friendly, the report added.

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The person responsible for taking the Noolpuzha PHC to these new heights is one Dr VP Dahar Mohammed, who was made in charge of the same in 2017.

When I joined this PHC, the construction of the new OP block was over. But I got the freedom to set up the facility... My concern was all about giving healthcare facilities in a state-run facility at par with those in private corporate hospitals. 
Dr VP Dahar Mohammed to The Indian Express

Other than Dr Mohammed, those running the PHC include four other doctors, a lab technician and a pharmacist.

As a result of their collective efforts, the PHC now has an electronic display board to notify patients as to their turn to visit the doctor, an audio visual primer on healthcare plays on an LED screen and ward fit to accommodate 10 patients satisfactorily, the report added.

The best part about the PHC is that it also has a children’s park within the compounds, so that tribal children visiting the building feel comfortable.

Using the panchayat funds, those running the PHC have also hired an engineering graduate to help it be a part of the health department’s Aadhaar-based e-health project, where a patient’s medical history and statistics are maintained, which makes it easier for doctors to check their health status.

Along with the two women’s toilets with napkin vending machines and incinerators, the telemedicine unit pf the PHC also assists patients in consulting dermatologists at a nearby district hospital in Mananthavady, the report added.

According to K Shoban Kumar, the Noolpuzha panchayat president, about Rs 1.83 crore has been invested by the panchayat into the PHC in the last three years.

“At least 43 percent of the population here is tribal. And no other panchayat in Kerala has invested consistently in a PHC like this... All services are free of cost — the registration token costs Rs 3, but tribals and patients below 18 don’t have to pay,” he told The Indian Express.

The next plan for the PHC includes constructing traditional houses for tribal women in advanced stages of pregnancy and e-rickshaws to transport patients from nearby bus stops.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)

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