Discuss about the role of “Boat Clinics” in the Health sector of Assam .
Ans :- Boat Clinics :- The islands of river Brahmaputra popularly known as chars or sapori are among the most backward areas of the state, nearly six percent of Assam’s land is covered by these islands and a total of ten percent population of the state i.e. more than 30 lacs populace resides in those islands. These areas are frequently devastated by flood as results the health status of the people living in those areas are badly affected. There are more than 2000 villages in these char areas, where as a few health facility with little or no manpower, which are not sufficient enough to cover the entire population.
The main threats to these islands is from frequent floods which play a role of the devastation of the communities residing in these islands, thus causing a major concern to the health status of the communities. Construction of permanent infrastructure and health facilities is one of the major challenges in these islands due to the recurring floods. The situation is even worsened by the fact that the people residing in these areas change their base every six months either due to erosion of the land or in search of livelihood generation. Keeping the challenge of defending the health indicators, the Govt. initiated “Boat Clinic” service in the year, 2008 for the communities residing in these islands.
National Health Mission (NHM) already providing health services to the communities residing in the remote river islands (Char/Saporis) of the River Brahmaputra in 13 (Thirteen) Districts of the State with 15 (Fifteen) Boat Clinic units. Fifteen (15) Boat Clinic units are operational at Dhubri, Barpeta, Nalbari, Morigaon, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Kamrup District and one each additional units in Dhubri and Barpeta District. Boat clinics are providing the health services including Reproductive and Child Care, Curative Care, Family Planning Services, Basic Laboratory Services etc.
Conclusion :- The Boat Clinics are one of the only means of health services for the people living in remote islands of river Brahmaputra and its tributaries . Boat Clinics have organized about more than 4000 health camps in which more than 2.5 lakh patients are treated under general health check up . More than 29000 people were given routine immunization through the Boat Clinics along with about 18000 and 5000 patients were given ante-natal care and post natal care respectively . Moreover , Boat Clinics has provided family planning services to about more than 1.5 lakh patients .