Decrepit health centre in Kulgam shelters cattle, wild animals

Villagers fear to visit the facility for vaccination
Decrepit health centre in Kulgam shelters cattle, wild animals
The only sign giving one an idea of its being a health facility is the hoarding of the family welfare sub-center erected outside.Special arrangement

Kulgam: Abdul Majeed, 60, hailing from remote Halan village of Manzgam in south Kashmir's DH Pora area, here, is reluctant to visit the nearest health center for Covid vaccination, for the facility housed in an old mud structure shelters cattle and at times wild animals like bears.

The roof of the structure being damaged, whenever there is rain or snow the water dribbles inside the rooms.

The only sign giving one an idea of its being a health facility is the hoarding of the family welfare sub-center erected outside.

“I took my first vaccine shot from the center but have now decided not to visit there again for the second dose due to its pathetic condition,” said Majeed.

He said the villagers have many times spotted wild bears and other animals roaming inside the dilapidated structure. “One fears that he or she may be attacked by the wild animals on his or her entry into the center,” Majeed said.

He said that building also shelters cattle, and cow dung and other solid waste material remain scattered around.

“A foul smell emanates from the facility which poses threat of infection,” Majeed said.

He criticized the authorities for allowing Covid vaccination and routine immunization in the facility for children.

“It is strange that vaccines are stored here and then administered to people,” Majeed asked.

Village head, Gulzar Ahmad, said that they have been for long pleading to the authorities to shift the center but to no avail. “The building is unsafe and can collapse any time. It should be shifted on priority basis,” Ahmad said.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Kulgam , Dr Rafiq Dhobi said that they were looking for alternative accommodation. "We have requested to the villagers to provide us either the accommodation or the land where we can construct the new building for the centre," the CMO said.

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