JMS’ documentation and action on maternal and neonatal deaths raised an alert among sanghtans in other taluks who also documented similar cases in their areas. A district level analysis of maternal and neonatal health issues was put together by Karnataka Janaarogya Chaluvali (KJC).
- The district administration is guilty of inflicting such violence on women from marginalized and poor communities by not strengthening the public health system:
- 70% of the specialists’ positions are vacant in the district. There are no fulltime permanent gynecologists and obstetricians in the taluk hospitals because of which they have become dysfunctional and cannot provide first level emergency obstetric care.
- Even though there are only 8 vacant positions of medical officers in the district, most do not stay in the headquarter village and are not available round the clock in the 24X7 PHCs in the district (examples: Hirekotnekal and Sejjalgudda).
- 62% of the supervisory cadre is vacant.
- 57% of the Jr. Health Assistant (male) positions are vacant
- 40% of the Jr. Health Assistant (female) positions are vacant
- 44% of drivers positions are vacant
- 36% of group D workers positions are vacant
- 32% of pharmacist positions are vacant
- 20% of staff nurse positions are vacant
- There are only 2 out of required 7 senior pharmacists in the district
- 18% of lab technicians positions are vacant
Even though Raichur enjoys special status under Article 371J of the Constitution, the district has been discriminated against when it comes to filling up staff vacancies in the public health system. Non-availability of staff is the single most reason for increasing maternal and neonatal complications and deaths in the district.
Demanding health care facilities…
JMS also participated actively in several protests and meetings by KJC’s raichur district forum:
Protest on Independence Day, 15th August 2014, demanding restoring supply of IFA tablets
- Overnight protest against one maternal death and three neonatal deaths all on the same day in one CHC in Mudgal, Lingsgur taluk
- Meeting with the Chairperson of the Women’s Commission: JMS along with several other sanghatans participated in a district level review meeting organized by the Women’s Commission on 30th January 2015.