Ventilators lie idle in Cuttack’s community health centres even as virus surge continues- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

CUTTACK: In Cuttack district, where Covid surge continues unabated and critical patients face immense problems in availing life support, four ventilators installed at as many Community Health Centres (CHCs) in chronic kidney disease-prone Badamba and Narasinghpur blocks are yet to be made functional.

Ironically, it is Cuttack MP from Biju Janata Dal Bhartruhari Mahtab who had provided funds from his MP LAD fund for the ventilators but the equipment is lying idle.

Though the Cuttack administration claims to have strengthened its healthcare facilities across the district to meet the need arising out of the increasing Covid-19 infection, the ground reality presents a different picture.

Before the Covid outbreak, Mahtab sanctioned funds from MPLAD fund for installation of one ventilator each at Maniabandha, Badamba, Kanpur and Narasinghpur CHCs so that critical health care to people belonging to the CKD-prone localities of the district is met when the need arises. 

Accordingly, four ventilators were purchased, each one costing around Rs 17 lakh, and installed at the four CHCs around a month back.

However, these ventilators are lying un-operational and critical patients are being deprived of availing instant life support. Sources said the ventilators could not be made operational due to lack of trained manpower.

At least one anesthetist and a trained technician are required for administration of invasive ventilation. Though the doctors at the CHCs can provide non-invasive ventilation, they are yet to be trained for the same, sources added.  

When contacted, Athagarh Sub-Divisional Officer Dr Bijay Mishra declined to comment stating that the CDMO is authorised to speak about the problems related to making the ventilators operational.

Attempts to elicit response from the CDMO on the issue proved futile as he did not pick up phone despite repeated calls to his mobile number. 

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