5 yrs since govt’s notice, New Chingmei awaits its first PHC

The sub centre at New Chingmei caters to the medical needs of six villages. (Morung Photo)
The sub centre at New Chingmei caters to the medical needs of six villages. (Morung Photo)

Moses Hongang Chang
Tuensang | April 8

Nearly five years after the government’s notification to upgrade New Chingmei Sub-Centre (SC) to a Primary Health Centre (PHC) under Tuensang district, it still functions as a sub-centre. So far, not a single appointment has been made that would run the promised PHC. 

New Chingmei is the centre-point of the Chingmei Range that covers six villages. The nearest village C/Saddle is 8 kms away and the farthest is Taknyu village, 24 kms away. It is the lone Sub-Centre, where institutional delivery takes place for the entire Chingmei range.

Pregnant mothers with hyper tension or blood pressure problems have to be referred to Community Health Centres or District Civil Hospitals. The nearest CHCs at Shamator and Noklak are about 50 kms away. 

On November 9, 2016, the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Nagaland issued a notification to upgrade New Chingmei Sub-Centre along with 7 other sub centres. However, this has not come to fruition. 

The Chingmei Range Public Organisation (CRPO) sent an appeal letter to the Government of Nagaland on August 27, 2020 to upgrade the facility into a Primary Health Centre with full staff.

President of the Chingmei Range Students’ Council (CRSC), Changkhamba informed that the sub centre caters to approximately 6,047 people (according to 2011 census) from six villages with minimal medical workers. It has only 1 CHO, 1 ANM, 1 Aya, 1 Dai and another Dai from ECS and 2 Medical Attendants. Besides, the hilly terrain and poor road connectivity the nearest health facility centre is at Kuthur, which is 27 kms away and the district hospital is 38 kms away. 

The sub-centre at present faces inadequate supply of essential drugs, non availability of emergency equipments such as oxygen cylinders, radiant warmer, trolley, linens etc. The ASHA workers and Anganwadi workers are also not paid incentives. These problems could be solved if there was a proper functioning PHC.

“CRPO and CRSC have appealed to the government for early implementation of the said PHC but they have turned deaf to our plea,” Changkhamba lamented.

As per data collected from the sub centre, there have been 42 successful delivery cases from January 29, 2019 to February 2021. Despite the minimal staff and inadequate facilities, the sub-centre has managed to provide enhanced institutionalised delivery point for the entire range.

New Chingmei Sub-Centre received the award for the best Sub-Health Centre of Tuensang district from the Government of Nagaland on January 26, 2020. However, the need of the people of Chingmei Range calls for a Primary Health Centre which is yet to be institutionalised.

With the country witnessing a second wave of COVID-19 and the vaccination drive in full swing, having a PHC is now urgent. Travelling to Tuensang for medical check-up takes toll on the villagers, especially for the elderly and children due to the bad road condition. The setting up of a PHC in New Chingmei will provide immense relief for the six villages of C/Saddle, New Chingmei, Chingmei, Waoshu, Yimpang and Taknyu villages.