Adivare health centre a lifeline for rescue work

Aug 06, 2014, 02:40 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Nestled in the hilly region, Adivare primary health centre is the lifeline for at least six villages, including Malin; overnight, the preventive centre turned into an emergency centre to handle the landslide tragedy

Along with hundreds of unsung heroes helping the ongoing rescue efforts at Malin village, the government-run primary health centre (PHC) at Adivare is fast emerging as the region’s lifeline. Situated in Adivare village, just two kilometres from the site of the landslide at Malin, the PHC has greatly expedited the rescue operations, with both immediate treatment for survivors as well as speedy post-mortems and DNA samples of the deceased.

Adivare primary health centre
Several victims, such as this injured lady being led out of the Adivare primary health centre, have been given timely treatment at the PHC

All bodies recovered from the debris are shifted to the PHC for the collection of DNA samples and post-mortems, after which they are again transported to the crematorium barely a kilometre away. In the absence of the PHC, the bodies would have had to be transported all the way to Dimbhe, Ghodegaon or Manchar, situated 25 to 50 kilometres away.

Adivare primary health centre

The approach road between Malin and Dimbhe is very narrow, with hills on one side and the backwaters of Dimbhe dam on the other. To make matters worse, the first couple of days after the landslide, the road had witnessed heavy traffic jam, trapping several ambulances for hours. In such circumstances, shifting the injured and deceased to those hospitals would have been a considerable challenge.

“Adivare PHC is the lifeline for at least six villages, including Malin, nestled in that hilly area. After the Malin landslide it has been converted from a preventive centre to an emergency centre,” said Dr Ganesh Pawar, a medical officer there.
With the PHC performing such a crucial role in the relief operations at Malin, it’s hard to imagine what would have happened had the facility not been there. Although the PHC may currently seem indispensable, just two years ago it would have been woefully inadequate to deal with a disaster like the Malin landslide.

“Just two years ago, a whole new structure had been constructed at Adivare, using government funding. Otherwise, the old PHC was tiny, and in the current situation, would have had little space for the dead bodies from Malin,” said Dr Pawar.

Dr Seema Deshmukh, medical superintendent of the Manchar sub-district hospital said, “On the day of the landslide, we were ready with 80 beds and additional staff to deliver medical treatment. But by late evening, it had become clear that besides the eight injured that had been treated, all were feared dead. Hence, we started preparations to carry out post-mortems.”

“In normal conditions, a body starts decomposing after 48 hours of death. But due to incessant rain, the bodies buried under the mud at Malin started decomposing within 24 hours. Hence, conducting spot post-mortems at Adivare PHC was the most vital decision, ensuring early last rites for the deceased,” she added.

PHC struggles with daily needs

While the Adivare Primary Health Centre has helped the rescue operations at Malin considerably, the staffers there are struggling with their own basic needs every single day.

The centre — with only 10 employees based at the facility and 10 on field duty — has no system in place to ensure the supply of either food or clean drinking water.

“Arranging daily food and pure water needs a lot of patience. As there is no mess here, we have to depend on a tiffin service from Dimbhe village, which is very far away.

Except for a couple of state
transport buses, no other transportation facility is available here,” said one of the staff members. The centre does not even have any arrangements for clean drinking water.  Staffers ther boil large quantities of water boiled before it can be consumed by the staff and patients.

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