Ekhon/May 25, 2020: Primary Health Centre (PHC) Medical Officer in-charges of both Ukhrul and Kamjong District in Manipur has decided to cease their work in support of Chingai MO In-charge who was asked to go away from the village over her objection to the venue of meeting “to avoid risks and protocols that needs to be kept”. The PHC Medical Officers of both Ukhrul and Kamjong district decided to “cease work immediately unless unconditional apology/clarifications be given to Chingai MO in-charge”.
The unfortunate incident happened when one organization of Chingai village called a meeting earlier this morning to discuss the issue of quarantine centres with the MO in-charge in view of many people returning from cities due to the pandemic threat. In view of the location (meeting place) being at risk, MO in-charge suggested a safer location to gather, they opposed the idea, even question her work and later asked her to leave from the village. Mention may be made that just a couple of days ago there was one symptomatic patient (in Chingai quarantine centre) who was transfered to the hospital in Imphal. For the same, it had put Chingai QC at a high risk.
The MO said in a written statement that “a member in the meeting made it an issue to the point of uttering that the MO In-charge cannot stay in Chingai.”
The written statement further said, “Perhaps it would be pertinent to remind that we are fighting together. And we being in the frontline, are exposed to hazards such as pathogen exposure, long working hours, psychological distress, fatigue, occupational burnout, stigma and physical and psychological violence. And despite the fact that the state health system is in poor condition, we are trying all out to give our best.”
Dr. Pamreila Grace, District Surveillance Officer, Covid-19 strongly condemned the incident. She said that while quarantine centres are being managed by MLAs and other groups, it required the assistance of medical staff with their technical expertise. But if the people do whatever they want and oppose the suggestion given by the doctor for the safety of the people and ask them to leave, it is wrong. She added that this is not just their fight, it is everyone’s fight and that we must cooperate with each other and the public should give unconditional support to the medical staff.
MO incharges of Ukhrul and Kamjong district PHCs showed their individual support by putting up their photos along with a placard saying “CEASE WORK. Until MO I/C PHC Chingai gets justice”.