heros of change

A world of difference between two births

By Ishita Rampal/WAI

In a remote village in Sehore District of Madhya Pradesh, a Community Health Centre makes substantial improvements in infrastructure, services, cleanliness and hygiene. Under the guidance of Dr. Bharat Bhushan Sharma, the health centre is now considered as an inspiration for others.

Thirty-year-old Krishna, a farmer’s wife narrates the drastic makeover of this health care facility witnessed from the time she delivered her first child to the time she came again to deliver her second child.

"The Community Health Centre in Sehore is the only hospital in our district that offers widespread services. Even though it is 10 kilometres away from my village, I and my family ensure that we visit this hospital for all our medical needs. I don’t think it will be wrong to say that this hospital is as good as any private hospital that is expensive and beyond our budget. But the condition was not the same until a year ago.

The general ward of the Community Health Centre is now refurbished

(Left to Right) The general ward of the Community Health Centre is now refurbished

When I was due with my first child in 2014-15, I remember facing a lot of trouble in adjusting to the hospital system. It was quite clear that the hospital infrastructure was old and a lot of repair work was required. Some sections of the hospital were going through repair, while others seemed to be in a pathetic condition. The toilets were broken and extremely dirty, and it was a great task for me to relieve myself during crucial days of my pregnancy. A majority of the patients in the ward faced similar problems. Also, there was no proper space for our families to sit and wait. Amidst the chaos, it used to be difficult for the patients to access basics like clean drinking water and decent toilets.

Community Health Centre

Krishna, happy post the delivery of her new born with her family in the renovated ward of the Community Health Centre.

This time, when I visited the hospital for my second delivery, I noticed a wide range of improvements in the facilities and services. The labour room and the toilet attached to it were extremely clean, unlike earlier times when I preferred to defecate in the open, rather than using the dirty toilet. Also, after my operation when I was shifted to the ward, there was a huge difference from what it was earlier. Although the doctor has been the same all these years, the services seemed to have improved in a good way. The waiting area in the hospital premises made it easier for my family to look after my two year old child. It is a great relief to have such improved and patient friendly facilities available."

In 2016, the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh was felicitated for being a change agent. It received the Kayakalp Award, the first health centre in the state to receive it, as part of the clean hospital initiative by the Government of India.

Dr. Bharat Bhushan Sharma, working at the CHC since last 15 years, has been instrumental in realising that the hospital needed great improvement. His dedicated efforts led to the huge change in transforming the condition of the hospital.

The handwashing station

The handwashing station in the nursing area shows a drastic improvement and overhaul in terms of cleanliness, hygiene and the availability of soap and sanitizers.

WaterAid India along with its partner organisation provided technical support to the hospital staff and prepared a plan to maintain the quality of services and facilities as per the required standards. Regular training for the sweepers and garbage collectors were scheduled in order to explain the type of waste, their proper collection in colour coded dustbins and their disposal in an appropriate way.

Infection Control Committee and hospital staff

An orientation on water, sanitation and hygiene issues was held for the Infection Control Committee and hospital staff at CHC Ichhawar (Photo credits: WaterAid India)

Additionally, the Rogi Kalyan Samiti (Patient Welfare Committee) also known as the Hospital Management Committee has been extremely instrumental in looking into the overall management and functioning of the CHC. This committee, which is a registered society acts as a group of trustees for the hospitals to manage key concerns. Also, the local MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) conducts regular visits to ensure maintenance of the quality of work at the CHC.