Abstract This paper deals with health issues in rural areas of AJK. The present research was conducted in village Chamyati, District Bagh in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The village is located on a hilltop and it is deprived of basic health facilities. After the earthquake of 8th October,2005 different NGO’s and organizations made their contribution to provide the villagers with these facilities but these were not enough for the villagers because of overpopulation and lack of funds.
Different health issues have been analyzed in this article. The data presented in this paper have been collected by using qualitative anthropological research techniques. Keywords: PHC; Sanitation system; Epidemic diseases; Infirmity; Stagnant water bodies; Infrastructural development Introduction This report focuses on a comprehensive range of health issues concerning with people living in Chamyati that is located in District Bagh in AJK. The village is deprived of health facilities like dispensaries PHCs and hospitals.
Population of the village is approximately 10,000 and there is an only dispensary and this single facility is not fully equipped ands furnished with basic necessities like simple diagnostics and auxiliary staff. If natives of the village have a common health problem, only 30-50% people can approach to this facility because of its location that is not in the center of the village. If someone has a savior health issue, he would have to travel to Muzzafarabad, Bagh or Rawalpindi to get treatment and travel to these areas from Chamyati is quite expensive that many people cannot afford.
Research methodology The present research was conducted in village Chamyati, District Bagh, AJK. Chamyati village is situated in east of Bagh, at the short of 18km from Kohala. Qualitative anthropological research method which includes questioner, participant’s observation and key informant interviews were used to collect this data. Stratified random sampling based upon social classes was used for selecting the 20 households. This research was a short time period study on 5 days stay from 14th to 18th October, 2013. Theoretical framework This research has been embedded in the theoretical discourse of rural health problems and rural health care status.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of diseases or infirmity; that health is a fundamental human right; and that the attainment of the highest possible level of health. It is a most important world wide social goal. ” Village has a poor sanitation system and moribund health facilities that bring about many epidemic diseases like malaria, gastro and other water born diseases which not only severely affects humans but animals also.
In  it is written that, “Poor sanitation system cause heavy losses, so as, the need for an infrastructural development and the concept of model village can be materialized with the collaboration of international and national NGO’s and government respectively. ” Most rural communities have large populations of older people and children, with relatively small populations of people of working age (those between 20 and 50 years old). This age distribution is a result of the aging of the rural population, the tendency of retirees to move to rural areas, large family sizes and the migration of rural youth to urban centers.
. Primary Health Care is the key to attaining this target as part of development in the spirit of social justice. Primary Health Care is the first level of contact of individuals, the family and community with the national health system bringing health care as close as possible to where people live and work and constitutes the first level of a continuing health care process. Primary Health Care addresses the main health problems in the community providing primitive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services accordingly”.
 People have difficulties with transport and communication and they all face the challenge of shortage of doctors and other professionals in rural and remote areas.  Rural health issues The data highlights that people in remote areas of AJK have poor health status. It focuses on a wide range of health issues concerning with people living in rural areas of Kashmir. People in rural areas face different health issues than people who live in towns and cities. Getting health care is a big issue for people living in rural areas.
They may not be able to get a hospital quickly in an emergency. According to Planning and Development Department of AJK, “There are approximately 1820 hospitals beds are available in the area averaging 0. 5 bed per 1000 population. The total numbers of doctors, including administrative doctors, health managers and dentists is 675 out of which there are 405 medical officers, 64 dental surgeons, 159 specialists in the area. ” But according to one of my correspondence, “in present situation buildings of hospitals are there but there is no auxiliary staff or hospitals in most of the cases.
Hospitals are far away from villages and people have to travel long distances to get even routine checkups and screenings. The PHC and dispensaries and rural areas often have fewer doctors, dentists and certain specialists that might not be available at all. ” Access to health care Village chamyti has a single PHC but this single health care centre is deprived of basic health facilities. It has only 3 beds for in-patient care. It does not have a separate latrine or washing area.
Only 25-40% natives can approach to this PHC if they have a common health problem and generally doctor and auxiliary staff is not expected to be available most of the time. There is no facility of simple diagnostics like blood, urine and stool tests. There are many doctors in the town (that is quite far from village) but most of them are not legal or MBBS doctors. Residence of village Chamyati used to go to them or drug seller to seek the first treatment of their problem and that is not a public facility. Such doctors charged a high treatment fee from villagers and the villagers also have to pay the travel rent to reach the town.
Majority of the villagers are not satisfied with the treatment of these private doctors. In the case of complicated deliveries, major surgeries and stitches, the main places to get treatment are Government Hospital Bagh, CMH Muzaffarabad and hospitals in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. To reach to these hospitals is a tough task because people have to face many difficulties with transport and communication. All these hospitals are on the distance of 90 to 132 KMs from village and it takes 3 to 4 hours drive to reach these hospitals.
According to correspondent: “if the villagers do not have their own transport, then travel agent charges 3500 to 6000 rupees rent for one side travel and then getting treatment and medications is again a costly procedure and due to this, most of the time people use oldest and outdated customary methods at the time of delivery and pregnancy and that is the reason that many women and children die during the time of delivery. ” For the treatment of broken bones and surgeries, people go to Abbotabad for the treatment because it is the only facility for the treatment of broken bones.
These are the causes that the rate of deaths in rural and remote area is higher than cities. The theoretical analysis Before the earthquake of 2005 in AJK, the village Chamyati was totally deprived of basic health facilities. Then after the earth quake, various NGO’s and welfare organizations work on this issue and that result in a few steps of progress and then different health care projects were started in the area. One of the projects was the establishment of TB Hospital in Hilla that is 15KM from village, and this hospital is still working and providing the natives with quality health services about Tuberculosis.
According to my correspondence, “we were get to know about different projects in the village but except TB hospital, all other health projects are present in documents only due to inconvenience of authorities. ” The provision of health facilities in rural and remote areas is also effected by limited funding and other resources. According to Free and Fair election Network, “more than half of the rural population is deprived of quality health services. ” Natives become victim of various diseases because of unawareness of unhygienic conditions and other health related information.
Diarrhea, tuberculosis, goiter and dengue are commonly found diseases among natives due to poor drainage system. Figure Conclusion In last few years, the village has gone through some major structural health care projects, but a very few are completely fulfilled. The villagers are not satisfied with the health facilities. The natives are not aware about family planning and other health related information, which results in growth of population and diseases. People use old and outdated methods to treat patients at home and most of the time it causes serious problems when finally it is diagnosed in the hospital.
Many people die due to unavailability of resources to reach the hospital and lack of health facilities. References 1. (Stallion, 2012, June saturday). problems of rural areas of pakistan . 2. kinsley, c. (2002, november). rural health in rural hands. Retrieved from www. wikipedia. org: http://www. srpc. ca/PDF/rural_hands. pdf 3. Alma-ata. (1978). The International Conferane on Primary Health Care. Alma-Ata. Copenhagen. 4. Roger strasser. (2013, march 28). oxford journals. Retrieved november 23, 2013, from www. oxfordjournals. org: http://fampra. oxfordjournals. org/content/20/4/457. full.