‘Working in remote area is a blessing not punishment’

‘Working in remote area is a blessing not punishment’

While most govt doctors seek contentment with postings in urban hospitals, Dr Nongosal Kirha finds happiness by serving at a PHC in a remote village


Morung Express News
Tuensang | May 28


At a time when government doctors posted to remote areas of Nagaland are facing flak for neglecting their duties in order to practice in private clinics in the comfort of urban towns, here is one doctor who has been serving at a remote village Primary Health Centre (PHC) he is posted at selflessly and tirelessly.


Dr Nongosal Kirha who completed six (6) years as the medical officer at the Kuthur village PHC on April 2017 last is one of the few rare doctors who diligently attend to his duties- regularly and yes, without seeking for a transfer.


Kuthur is a large village located in Sotokur of Tuensang district, Nagaland with around 422 families and a population of 2274 of which 1133 are males while 1141 are females, as per the population census 2011.


While it is the bounden duty of government doctors to sincerely perform duty at the place of their posting, wherever the location may be, the reality is not so, and most of the doctors shirk this responsibility.


The case with Dr Nongosal is exactly the opposite. He finds no reason to complain that he was posted in such a remote area. Instead he counts it a blessing. “I feel blessed and am very happy to find myself valuable here and able to render my service to those in need. I feel special here,” the humble doctor said. He however added that one need to have a “missionary vision” to be able to work in such areas.


While admitting that it is quite challenging to serve in such remote areas with non-existent infrastructure, inadequate equipments and insufficient medicines coupled with bad or no roads at all, Dr Nongosal observed that this should be more the reason to reach out to such places and serve as a care provider.


With no government quarter for a medical officer at the Kuthur village, Dr Nongosal stays in Tuensang town and travel every day to the village. At 7:00 am, the doctor is already on the road. Though the distance is only 13 kilometers from Tuensang town to Kuthur, the bad road condition ensure that it takes at least one hour to reach his destination.


Ever since Dr Nongosal arrived in Kuthur village, a lot of changes have taken place. He transformed the PHC, which was erstwhile a grazing ground for cows, into one of the best well maintained and cleanest PHC in the district. He planted flowers, erected fencings, installed electricity, put water connection and made really sure that the toilets were clean.


Since most of the villagers could not even afford to pay the registration fees leave alone buy medicines, Dr Nongosal stopped taking registration fees. With the medicine supplied by the State Government not sufficient and the yearly fund allotted to maintain the PHC at Kuthur meager, (it was Rs 60,000 in 2016), Dr Nongosal found himself spending money from his own pocket to get medicines for the patients.


“There is so much one can do here. And what is important to me is that at the end of the day, there is a peace of mind which is priceless,” Dr Nongosal explained on why he considers it a blessing to serve in rural areas.


Kuthur Village Council chairman, Kechingkham testifies on the service rendered by Dr Nongosal. “We feel very blessed to have Dr Nongosal in our village. He does his duty diligently and is always there for us during difficult times,” the village council chairman said with appreciation. Besides Kuthur, the PHC also caters to patients from Wongtho, Langa and Chingmelen villages, he said.


When the doctor is not attending to patients at the PHC, he is out in the village for house to house visit to see how the villagers are faring, Kechingkham said.


While Dr Nongosal is thankful to the State Government for giving him an opportunity to serve the people in his own capacity, he however wishes the government would replace the current government vehicle that is allotted to him, an old model gypsy, which he said has become almost condemned.


The doctor, who also have no driver requisitioned for him, said he even had to spend overnight all alone in the forest on two occasions while on his way to Tuensang after the old gypsy broke down. “I have been applying for a replacement but I am yet to get one. The government should understand that good transportation is vital to be able to serve in such remote areas…” Dr Nongosal rued.