Here’s a story of a Woman medical officer who created India’s 1st digital primary healthcare centre in Jalgaon district. To make something out of nothing is off course a challenging job to do. Dr Manisha Mahajan 26-year-old accepted the stimulating task and made it possible, passing every hurdle in her way. Thanks to her dedicated efforts which made primary health care centre from Jalgaon district into the country’s first digital, Wi-Fi enabled hub with advanced medical equipment that too in just three months. Let’s read about her as how she worked hard for the sake of people and gave a digitised phase for medical stream. Here’s her story.
According to the sources, a government-run Primary healthcare centre (PHC) in a dusty village, Jalgaon district, Maharashtra. It was one of the ignorant places that have been transformed into the country’s first digital Wi-Fi enabled hub with medical equipment facilities that too in just 3months time. It is said that sincere and dedicated an effort always gives a good result, same happened with Dr. Mahajan. She has developed ‘Arogyadootam 2016’, a digital platform at the PHC.
We can say that this Primary health centre is blessed by Dr Mahajan, who was appointed as the medical officer of Patonda village PHC on December 1, 2015. If you firmly decide to achieve something for a good cause nothing can stop you from achieving it.
Every new idea demands finance. For this creative notion, Dr Mahajan got donations from the villagers and local MLAs. She also had to put in her own money to have secured digital software, CCTV cameras, 24×7 Wi-Fi and advanced medical equipment for primary diagnosis, treatment and a well-equipped delivery room. As of now, this PHC provides easy access to healthcare to the residents of 13 villages.
Dr Mahajan while talking about the finance said that “Primary healthcare centre is the basic need of public health, but patients suffer because of pending work and lack of quality reassurance. We have developed a digital PHC without using a single paisa from the government. I put Rs 20,000, the staff contributed Rs 19,000, a Zilla Parishad member donated Rs 20,000, local MLA Umesh Patil gave Rs 50,000 and remaining amount was donated by local villagers.”
This digitization has improved healthcare in the area. The Patonda PHC is experiencing a rise in a number of patients in department clinics from the last three months and 70-80 patients come to their OPD on a daily basis.
Dr.Mahajan recently gave a demonstration of her “Model PHC” to the government officials thinking that the other 1,800 PHCs in the state could also be digitized but has not received any response yet. With no response from the district administration and seniors from the health department, a discouraged Dr Mahajan said, ”I tried to make a presentation before the district health officer and chief executive officer of Jalgaon Zilla Parishad, but they did not respond to me. It’s nothing but gender bias.”
The project which she has nurtured with money from her own pocket is not even asked for a concern to have a look at it. Dr Mahajan termed this behaviour as a typical example of discouraging the start-up and digital missions known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s heart. She also said that seniors did not like the fact that praise would go to an employee working at a very low level.
Speaking from Patonda Dr Mahajan expressed, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Start Up India’ missions had inspired her. She said that with technical and software support from Vinod Parakh, a software developer, she had designed the Digital PHC, which, according to her, was the nation’s first fully digital PHC which could be supervised even from an outside location using a cell phone. That is the kind of advanced level this PHC has.
Additionally, this software can also test water samples from tube wells, river and hand pumps which cause spreading of water-borne diseases. Dr Mahajan said that the transformation of the PHC has been so complete that signboards are easy to understand for rural people and are an amusing surprise for any visitor to the PHC.
Digital PHC software ensures proper registration of patients at the out- medicines, complete digital records of pathology, health records of patients, and online pharmacy browser.
The software also gives out alerts to parents for vaccination of children, reminders for doctors at PHC, setting targets and section-wise monthly reports.
Girish Mahajan, minister from Jalgaon praised Dr Mahajan saying, ”If such type of PHCs is developed across the state, the health ratio will improve and villagers will get quality treatment, putting an end to corrupt practices at PHCs.” But he has not mentioned anything as of how his government would encourage to spread this amongst all PHCs.
Despite being a woman herself Rubal Agrawal, Jalgaon collector, when informed about the experiment, did not respond as yet.
Hurdles are always a part and parcel of life and Dr Mahajan is experiencing the same right now. But when the efforts are taken honestly for the sake of people it feels sad that government isn’t encouraging and supporting the efforts and hard work. People actually should unite and stand up with this medical officer for the good cause which can help in bringing an advanced digital era to the Medical sector.