Dilapidated Pallamkurru PHC unable to provide med services

In emergencies such as appendicitis, snake bites or accidents, patients must travel 15 kms to the Katrenikona PHC or 25 kms to the Mummidivaram Community Health Centre.
Pallamkurru PHC
Pallamkurru PHC

AMALAPURAM : Working at the Pallamkurru Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Katrenikona mandal of Dr BR Ambedkar Konaseema district has become difficult for the staff due to incessant rains. Owing to the lack of a proper work space, medical records have been getting soaked.

Amid the rising cases of seasonal diseases, such as diarrhoea cases, the PHC is unable to provide essential health services. Health staff have been forced to work from under an overhead water tank beside the PHC, as the building is uninhabitable.

In emergencies such as appendicitis, snake bites or accidents, patients must travel 15 kms to the Katrenikona PHC or 25 kms to the Mummidivaram Community Health Centre, as immediate treatment is unavailable at Pallamkurru PHC.

Ambedkar Konaseema district Collector Himanshu Shukla had instructed District Medical and Health Officer (DM&HO) Dr Durgarao Dora and Amalapuram Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) G Keshavardhana Reddy to meet Pallamkurru Sarpanch Nathi Alivelu, her husband Nathi Satyanarayana, who is Rythu Bhrosa Kendralu (RBK) Chairman, as well as PHC doctors Swathy and Gowthami after TNIE had highlighted the issue in a report titled ‘Konaseema PHC reels under officials’ apathy’ on November 28, 2023.

Consequently, district officials directed the immediate relocation of the PHC to a rented facility.

The PHC serves Kandikuppa, Balusuthippa and Pallamkurru Panchayats, covering over 25,000 people. It employs two doctors, an multi-purpose health education officer (MPHEO), an multi-purpose health supervisor (female) MPHS(F), two staff nurses, a lab technician, a pharmacist, a female nursing orderly (FNO), and a sanitary attendant, although the public health nurses (PHNs) and senior assistant positions remain vacant.

Aasha workers and local secretariat health staff operate from the PHC. The staff currently conduct their record work under the water tank, rendered ineffective during rains.

As many as 50 to 70 patients visit the PHC for treatment every day. Before the implementation of the family health clinic system, number of inpatients stood at 80.

Construction of a new building has been delayed due to technical issues. PHC medical officer Dr Swathy said numerous letters, requesting basic facilities have been sent to district officials, but in vain.

The AP Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (APMSIDC) invited tenders for the construction of a new PHC building at a cost of Rs 80 lakh in October 2016. Construction commenced up to the pillar stage in 2018 on a 0.50-acre site in the village. However, the project halted in 2019 following the change in government. Since then, construction has not progressed.

The APMSIDC needs to issue notices to the contractors for the expired contract and call for new tenders.

DMHO Dr Durgarao Dora informed TNIE that the tender process is being overseen by APMSIDC officials. He stated there are no suitable buildings in Pallamkurru for relocating the PHC, so the medical staff continues their work in the current building. He plans to improve the PHC’s conditions with the coordination of APMSIDC.

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