Quacks rule roost amid lack of doctors in Odisha district

Malkangiri: Most healthcare needs of people in cut-off areas near Chitrakonda in Malkangiri district are catered to by quacks rather than doctors. Due to unavailability of doctors in 151 villages under nine panchayats of the cut-off areas, more than 30,000 people depend on quacks to cure ailments.

Though there is a primary health centre (PHC) in Jantapai to cater to the needs of more than 30,000 villagers, an AYUSH doctor has been appointed at the centre instead of an MBBS doctor. Therefore, villagers prefer consulting a quack rather than visiting an AYUSH doctor.

“We don’t know who is a doctor? No such person has ever visited our village,” said relative of a patient receiving treatment from a quack.

Echoing similar views, another villager said “Never ever a government-appointed doctor has visited the village. Residents of the locality either seek help from a quack for cure or succumb to the disease.”

Moreover, villagers alleged that these quacks and medicine traders are exploiting them on the pretext of providing healthcare services.

In daily markets at villages, these quacks can be seen selling medicines in makeshift stalls.

Though efforts were made to get comments from the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO), the government official refused to comment on the matter.

On the other hand, Chitrakonda Tehsildar, Phalguni Majhi stated he would inform the higher-ups about the difficulties villagers are facing.

“I will inform the CDMO about the matter. Besides, I would apprise the Sub-Collector and the Collector,” Majhi added.