An ISM (Indian System of Medicine) Pharmacist in Mughalpora village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district caters to health needs of around fifteen thousand (15,000) people.
Mugalpora is a village around five kilometers from district headquarters consisting of around five hundred households.
The residents here told Rising Kashmir that an ISM dispensary has been working in the village since 2004 on a temporary arrangement in a rented building sans infrastructure and facilities.
They said that the ISM dispensary caters to the needs of six surrounding villages including Payar, Nowhara, Maspuna, Malpora, Tenghara and Takibal.
“A single pharmacist, who has been posted here on internal adjustment, is looking after the population of 15 thousand people,” Mudasir Ahmad Dar, a social activist from Mugalpora said.
He said that authorities posted a doctor here who often used to remain absent and on previous month he was absent for 25 days.
“The doctor refused to join despite repeated requests from residents,” Mudasir said, adding that his adamant attitude compelled them to complain against him before deputy commissioner who took a disciplinary action against the doctor and a pharmacist was posted at ISM dispensary Mughalpora on internal arrangement as a replacement.
“The pharmacist is punctual but he couldn’t manage all things single handedly,” Ghulam Mohammad Dar, an aged resident said, adding that if a health facility has been provided it should have its own building and required staff should also be sanctioned.
The ISM dispensary at Mughalpora is a three roomed single storied building sans all facilities.
“It has a couple of chairs and few racks of ISM medicine,” the residents said, adding that patients with minor ailments are referred to district hospital Pulwama. They said that even for dressing of minor cuts they have to travel to other health facilities.
Mudasir and other residents said that they pleaded before authorities for sanctioning the ISM dispensary along with creation of posts for a medical officer, pharmacist, nursing orderly, auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) and a sweeper.
Dr Z A Shah, District Medical Officer ISM for Pulwama said that they pleaded before higher authorities for sanctioning of this dispensary but to no avail.
“This is a temporal arrangement until it is sanctioned formally along with required staff it will not serve its purpose,” he said, adding that they have provided them a pharmacist on internal arrangement.