COVID cases hit Curtorim; PHC needs booster dose to handle future healthcare challenges

Margao: With a population of over 53 thousand in its jurisdiction and only 12 beds on record, operating in an old dated building the Curtorim Primary Health Centre (PHC) is in an urgent need of a booster dose of improvement. The alarming number of cases increasing under Curtorim has strained the medical team as well as the infrastructure of the PHC.

The Health Officer of Curtorim PHC Dr Vallabh Nadkarni along with the team of 3 medical officers and 7 other doctors are pulling off a herculean task of contact tracing and testing the suspected COVID-19 cases in Curtorim.

It may be recalled that Curtorim saw a major spike in cases forcing ward 2 in Curtorim to be made into a micro- containment area. It has been reported and the Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco has been on record that the doctors are not getting the required apparatus for protecting themselves from the virus. A visit to the PHC revealed that the doctors have to undertake swab collection in a garage beside the PHC.

Being a PHC, which is a nodal center for regular health services and also services during the pandemic; the centre could have served as a major relief to the health infrastructure if improved on time.

While having made a case for them, Reginaldo has time and again reminded the government to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), gloves, masks, and all the apparatus that is needed for their self-protection from the dreadful virus. A villager who was at the health centre said, “We have seen in Goa what happens when a doctor is affected by COVID-19. For the sake of the protection of people, first, protect the doctors and medical staff from being affected by the virus.”

The centre clearly needs as much attention as the doctors do. In the 2019 monsoon, the roof of the health centre had started leaking and the work repairs of the same have almost finished now. Rs12 crores was sanctioned for the work of new PHC at Curtorim, but the work hasn’t started as yet. [H]