Sambalpur wants its maternity hospital back

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Dr. Janardan Pujari Matrumangal Kendra, the maternity hospital of Sambalpur, which was once a boon for the people of the area is now lying in a defunct state. The hospital was operational since 1944, that is before independence, and has diligently served the people of the region for decades. But from the last few years, the hospital has closed down due to lack of doctors. It is indeed sad that with all the required infrastructure available, this health center that has rendered services to almost every family from this old town and surrounding areas, is non-operational due to lack of doctors. Now only an Urban Primary Health Centre operates from the building.

Situated close to Golebazar, the heart of Sambalpur, the hospital is in an easily accessible location. Though several private hospitals have sprung up in the city, people miss the services of this free of cost, dedicated and specialized facility. Almost every family from old Sambalpur have at least one family member born in this hospital. The place, therefore, holds a special place in the hearts of the Sambalpurias. Since the city has now grown both in terms of area and population, the existing facilities have to be upgraded and not closed down.

I urge the Sambalpur Municipal Corporation and Health Ministry, Odisha to seriously look into the matter. To meet the growing needs of a growing city, the hospital has to be revived and upgraded.

In India, as many as 34 births are registered per minute. According to a report published by UNICEF about 6.4 lakh children die within 28 days of birth every year. The Neonatal Mortality Rate in India is 25.4 deaths per 1000 live births. About 44,000 maternal deaths occur in the country every year. The mortality rate is higher for mothers from the economically weaker section. Keeping these facts and figures in mind, we need more hospitals and health facilities for our expectant mothers and newborns. Also, there are several families who are not economically sound to afford the cost of private nursing homes. And we cannot at all afford the closure of existing free of cost, competent facilities. 

We Sambalpurias are pained to see our maternity hospital in this sorry state and request the authorities to take immediate and concrete steps to make it functional at the earliest.