Periodicals

 

            The cultural and literacy periodicals, published in  and outside the district, are detailed in chapter XVIII, ‘Public Life and Voluntary Social Service Organizations’.

 

(k)       Libraries and Museums

 

Libraries

 

            Libraries play an important  role in the spread of education among the masses, both in the urban and rural areas. In 1950, the Punjab Government setup the Central Library Committee, with a view to coordinating and rationalizing the existing library facilities and to provide more facilities for the proper functioning of libraries and reading rooms run by the various Government departments and local bodies. The Committee did an excellent work in implementing the plan, known as the “Randhawa Paln”, which envisaged the setting up of new libraries in healthy surroundings and furnishing them with pictures and paintings concerning the Punjab and its people. Under the scheme, a network of libraries has been set up, both in urban and rural areas of the district. These are rendering useful service to the public.

 

      The types of libraries functioning in the district are as under :-

 

Panchayat Libraries :- Generally , every panchyat in the district maintains a small library for the promotion of education in the rural areas.

 

District Board libraries :-  there are 3 Distirtc Board Libraries in the dsirtict of Ajnala, RajaSansi and Lopoke. These are now maintained by the Zila Parishad, Smritsar.

 

Municipal Libraries :-  The municipalities of Amritsar,Kham Karan, Jandiala Guru, Majitha , Tarn Taran and Patti maintain libraries and reading rooms for the public.

 

Pandit MotiLal Nehru Municipal Library, Amritsar :-  The Pandit  Moti lal Nehru Municipal Library, run by the Municipal Committee, Amritsar, is the biggest library in the district. Established in the early twenties, the library is housed in spacious building. It contains about 30000 books on various subjects and subscribes to about 250 magazines and newpapers. In different parts of the city, it runs 25 reading rooms which are provided with  newpapers, periodicals and magazines.

 

            The library has also a children’s section which is provided with a number of books and toys for the study and recreation of the children. The library is also maintaining a film projector for the exhibiting films of educational and civic value to the public.

 

            Private Llibraries :-  the private libraries , all located at Amritsar, are :

 

(i)                Sri Guru Ram Das Library, Amritsar

(ii)               Swantantra Nand Library, Amritsar

(iii)             Marwari Pustkalya, Amritsar

 

These libraries contain quite a large number of books on various subjects and topics.

 

School and College Libraries – All the high / higher secondary schools and colleges have their own libraries meant for the use of their students and teachers. The Khalsa College Library is a very big one and contains a large number of books on various subjects.

 

Reading Rooms – There are 8 public reading – rooms at Shamnagar, Kot Khalsa(Amritsar Tahsil); Shaheed, Marimegha(Patti Tahsil); Chhina Bidhi Chand, Sirhali Kalan(Tarn Taran Tahsil); and Shansara Kalan and Ghonewal(Ajnala Tahsil) in the district. There are also a number of reading rooms in the municipal area of Amritsar.these reading – rooms have also small libraries in addition to the newspapers, periodicals, etc.

 

Museum

 

Central Sikh Museum Amritsar – Established on July 11,1958, the museum is housed in a big hall and some adjoining rooms on the second floor of the Deohri (entrance) to the Golden Temple. It contains a good number of exhibits including documents, old coins, paintings, weapons, etc., bearing on the Sikh history.

 

CHAPTER XVI

 

MEDICAL AND PUBLIC – HEALTH SERVICES

 

a)      Public – Health and Medical Facilities in Early Times

 

The indigenous system of medicine, known as the Ayurveda, has been prevalent in India from early times. It was well advanced in the field of medicine and surgery. The diagnosis system was also well developed. The grafting of certain parts of the body, e.g., rhinoplasty (the replacement of the nose), was a remarkable achievement of the Ayurveda.

           

The term Ayurveda is derived from the two words ayuh and veda, meaning ‘life’ and ‘knowledge’ respectively. The origin of the art of healing, like most other matters chronological in India is, steeped in obscurity. Ayurveda is, however, attributed to Indra or Brahma and traced back to about 8,000 years.

 

The practice of medicine in the remote past was more or less a prerogative of the priestly class who displayed a high standard of surgical and therapeutic skill. The lower strata of society, however, generally held the disease as an act of evil spirits and resorted to withcraft or sorcery.

           

With the advent of the Muslims, the Unani system of medicine was also introduced in the country. In course of time, both the Ayurvedic and Unani systems got so much intermingled that it became difficult to distinguish the on from the other. Quite often, the same physician practiced both the systems of medicine without any distinction. Owing to the patronage of the Muslim rulers, the Unani system of medicine became more popular in the urban areas while the Ayurvedic system was prevalent in the rural areas.

 

In the field of public – health, medical facilities provided for their subjects by different rulers depended on the standard of welfare and economic condition of each particular State. During the Sikh rule, particularly under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, a good number of public hospitals and dispensaries were opened in the urban areas. Some renowned private hakims and vaids also practiced in Amritsar. The city of Amritsar received particular attention of Ranjit Singh and his successors who paid generously towards the maintenance of medical and public health services there. Amritsar, the biggest commercial city during the period, was inhabited by rich people . They also did not lag behind in charity and opened many free dispensaries for the welfare of the poor. This tradition continued even under the British rule and thereafter. Amritsar still has the maximum number of free dispensaries being run by rich philanthropist.

 

The allopathic system of medicine was introduced into Amritsar after the annexation of Punjab by the British in 1849. A hospital was opened near Ram Bagh. The Homeopathic system of medicine though of German origin was also introduced Homeopathic Physicians also practice by a chemistry. This system of medicine has however not received Government patronage so far.

 

With the spread of education , and the scientific treatment of human ills coming within the reach of the people, the methods  of faith, cure and quackery are resorted to by a fewer people now. Homeopathy is practiced by a few practitioner in the towns. The Ayurvedic and the Unani systems are favored by some people because of the simple and familiar medicines prescribed. The Government has given a better recognition to these systems ad the number of their dispensaries in the district increased from 2 in 1953-54 to 17 in 1960-61 and to 19 (16 Ayurvedic and 3 Unani) in 1968-69.

 

In 1961 there was 1 medical institution on an average for 73.7 sq km and 22,572 persons in the district in the same year, the total number of allopathic physicians and surgeons and dentist, ayurvedic physician , homeopathic physician and other  physicians in the district was 2,160 (2,074 males and 86 females) out of these 1,142 ( 1,117 males and 25 females) were in the rural areas and 1,018 ( 957 males and 61 females ) in the urban areas. These included 479 ( 444 males and 35 females). Allopathic physicians and surgeons, 951 ( 936 males and 15 females) ayurvedic physicians 189 ( all males), homeopathic physicians and 346 ( 335 males and 11 females) other physicians

.

In 1968 there were 74 medical institution in the Amritsar district, out of these 40 were in the rural areas and 34 in the urban areas. The population served by one institution was 22,659 in the district as compared with 24,715 in the State as a whole. The average area covered by an institution was 4.358 km in the district as compared with 5.599 km in the State as a whole. The number of Doctors was 1,025 in the district as compared with 4,332 in the State as a whole. The population served by one Doctor was 1,636 in the District as compared with 2,910 in the state as a whole.

 

(b)       Vital Statistics

 

            The population of the district, according to the census from 1901 onwards , indicates the trend of variation among the males and females as under :

 

Year

Persons

Variations

Males

Variations

Females

Variations

1901

1187140

 

649086

 

538054

 

1911

1021225

-165915

573353

-75733

447872

-90182

1921

1077596

+56371

600140

+26787

477456

+29584

1931

1295270

+217674

718391

+118251

576879

+99423

1941

1621126

+325856

887893

+169502

733233

+156354

1951

1367040

-254086

742421

-145472

624619

-108614

1961

1534916

+167876

827821

+85400

707095

+82476

Total variation

+347776

 

+17873

 

+169041

 

From 1901-1961 the population of the district has constantly increased except during the first and fourth decades as shown by the senses figures of 1911-1951 respectively. From 1901-1911, the decrease in the population was due infectious diseases like plague, cholera, smallpox and fevers. The decrease in the population as shown by the 1951 senses was due to the partition of the country. The number of muslims whom migrated was much more than the hindus and Sikhs who came. The general increase in the population is due to the increase in the birth rate and decrease in the death rate on account of the control measles against various infectious diseases and a general improvement in medical and health conditions , consequent upon the provision of better medical facilities by the Government.

 

The registration of the vital statistics is compulsory in the rural areas. The chowkidars maintained the birth  death registers, similar records are also maintain by the municipalities in the urban areas . Beside other advantages , the procedure furnishes a dependable record of growth of population and it  help in visualizing the scope of the measures to be taken to check the mortality rate and also to device ways and means to effect family palnning. The Chief Medical Officer of the District compiles the data. The table given in appendix 1 on page 503 indicates the birth rate , the death rate, the infantile mortality rate etc.

 

There has been marked increase in the birth rate from 1950 onwards. From the beginning of the third 5 year plan 1961-66 the birth  rate has been on the decrease. This has been due to the family planning programme. The spiral of rise and rise in the standard of living has also been responsible for decrease in the birth rate. The death rate in 1968 was less than half of that in 1953. the infantile mortality rate was the highest in 1960 with the increase availability of medical facilities, it gradually decreased and was the lowest in 1968.

 

Important causes of Mortality :- The important cause of Mortality in the district are fever , dysentery, respiratory diseases etc. the table in appendix 2 on page 504 gives the number of death registered in district on the basis of causes.

 

(c) Diseases common to the District

 

1.      Fevers :- The largest number of deaths is caused by fevers. These includes ordinary fevers, typhoid influenza and other miscellaneous seasonal fevers including malaria. These fevers are caused by infections or unhealthy living and im-balanced diet culminating in low resistant. The causes are deep rooted and are as such difficult to eradicate. In the past miscellaneous type of  medicines including quinine were used to check fever. At present Sulpha drugs and Anti-biotic are most effective. Healthy living coupled with a balanced diet checks the incidence of fever. Malaria has been checked by applying DDT sprays. A detailed reference to the eradication of malaria is made in the subsequent pages.

 

2.      Respiratory Diseases :- Next only to fever the respiratory diseases are responsible for deaths in the district. These diseases are caused by different types of smokes , fumes, wrappers of chemical gases released by the burning of charcoal, coak etc. The necessary material used in Industry, these gases pollute the atmosphere all the time and effect the heath of the people. Smoke is a constant source of irritation of eyes throat and lungs . The laborers from the rural areas live at Amritsar and Chheharta in small and dingy houses, those with poor health and miserably low resistance fall and easy pray to the respiratory diseases. Tuberclosis is carried by them back to the villages where the kith and kin , friends and associates run a great risk of contracting the diseases. Allergic diseases like Bronchitis and Asthama are also caused by unhealthy air polluted by smoke, fumes etc. Poisonous industrial waste also pollute the atmosphere and cause  respiratory diseases.

 

            Proper arrangements are essential for the regular discharge of harmful gases and smokes. No doubt, the Factory Act, 1948, requires that a proper disposal of  harmful gases in the atmosphere whould be ensured. But, in practice, this provision is disregarded. Moreover , factories must be located outside the city but, wing to one reason or another , a number of factories are still situated in the interior of the Amritsar City.

 

            The proper diagnostic facilities made available in the dispensaries and hospitals, the latest researches in the medical science, the provision of institutional facilities, domicilliary treatment, and the follow-up of cases due to diseases, like tuberculosis and chronic bronchitis, have brought down the mortality figures to a low level. 

 

3.         Malaria – Previously, malaria was one of the main causes that took a heavy toll of life in the district, especially in the bet areas. This disease used to spread during the monsoon season. Quinine was the only available effective medidcine to check malaria. Early in the fifties, the eradication of this disease was taken up at the national level. Areference to this campaign will be of interest.

 

            The control programme against malaria was started in the district in 1953. during the first phase, spraying with D.D.T.was taken up in the villages, giving two rounds in a year. Blood slides of infants and children were also collected for microscopical examination. For the enlargement of spleen, a survey was also carried out to assess the infection in the district.

 

            The malaria unit enterd the attack phase in 1960. the district was divided into four sub – units. The area of the sub – units was further divided into sectors and sections, allotting the population between 10 and 15 thousands to each survielllance worker. The area of four surveillance workers was coverd by one Surviellance Inspector. The villages faling within the jurisdiction of a surveillance worker were covered twice a month for active surveillance.

 

            The Medical Officers in charge of the medical institutions were deputed to prepare the blood slides of all the patients who attended their institutions for treatment. The positive cases detected under active and passive surveillance were given radical treatment. Other necessary medical measures were also taken to control the further spread of malaria in the district. The total number of malaria cases in 1963 was 120.

 

            The whole area of the district, except 17 kilometers of the border belt, entered the consolidation phase in 1964. Spraying in the border area was continued up to 1966 and, during 1967, only 5 kilometers of the border belt area was sprayed. The number of malaria cases in 1964 was 7 and in 1967 it was 5.

 

Apart of the Ajnala Tahsil entered the maintenance phase in December 1965; 1-kilometer area of Tarn Taran and Patti tahsils entered the maintenance phase in August 1966 and the rest of the 5 kilometers of the border belt area entered the maintenance phase in August 1967.

 

In the maintenance phase, the staff for the sub – units was merged into the Primary Health Centers and, since then, the malarias work has been carried on through the Medical Officers in charge of the Primary Health Centers.

 

There are 15 Primary Health Centers in the district, where Laboratory Technicians and Laboratory Assistants have been put on duty to examine the blood slides collected by the Basic Health Workers operating in the areas of the Primary Health Centers.

 

There is a Laboratory unit at the district head – quarters under the Senior Laboratory Technicians. He is in charge of the district, and pays regular visits to each Primary Health Center, to improve the laboratory work and the cross – checking of the blood slides.

 

There are two Health Inspectors in each Primary Health Center, and they supervise the work of the Basic Health Workers.

 

The whole area of the district has been divided between the Assistant Unit Officer and the Health Supervisor who regularly check the working of the staff.

 

There is an Epidemiologist at Amritsar who controls the N.M.E.P. (National Malaria Eradication Programme) in the district. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer (Health) is overall in charge of the programme and he is guided and supervised by the Chief Medical Officer.

 

The expenditure incurred in 1967-68 was Rs.2, 45,118 and in 1968-69 it was Rs.3, 91,040.  The total number of cases in 1967 was 5, in 1968 it was 6 and in 1969 only 4. As compared with the other districts in the State, where a much larger number of cases have been reported, no area of this district has been reported back to the attack phase.

 

(iv) Communicable Diseases – Communicable diseases are cholera, plague, smallpox, etc. A brief reference to each of these diseases, with particular reference to the Amritsar District, is made below:

 
 
CHOLERA

 

It is an epidemic disease. It was generally associated with mass gathering, especially at the Khumb Fair at Hardwar and the solar eclipse fairs at the Kurukshetra where pilgrims collected in large number. This disease used to spread on the return of the effected pilgrims to their bodies.

           

The Health department has made special arrangement for such occasion. All the dispensaries are directed to inoculate the person visiting the fairs. Besides, medical inspection team posts are established at all the important railway or road stations where strict supervision is exercised. At places where the fairs are held, special conservancy arrangements, the provisions of safe water supply, and the satisfactory collection and removal of the night soil are made. Specific arrangements to attend to cases of infectious diseases and to render medical aid to the pilgrim are also made.

           

There was an isolated case of death due to Cholera in 1952.  Thereafter, no death has been reported to be caused by these diseases.

 

PLAGUE

 

There was a time when this disease was feared most. Ever since its appearance in the Punjab in 1897, it had never been entirely absent from the Amritsar district till 1910. It remained the most dreadful disease in the district from 1901 to 1910 and the death toll in 1910 was 13,119. The district remained free from plague for many years, but, in 1933, the disease broke out in there, it spread to other parts of the district and caused 625 deaths. Since then the district has been free from this scourge.

 

The factor determining the appearance of these dreadful diseases cannot be stated with certainly. It is probable that there has developed some natural immunity from plague among the rats. Intensive deratting on systematic lines is conducted throughout the year. The chief antirat measures adopted are the laying of poison baits, the cyanogassing of arats holes, and the using of rattraps in the towns. Strict vigilance is kept to detect any excessive mortality among the rats.

 

SMALL POX

 

It has never been absent from the State since the records of its occurrence have been kept. It has its periodical increased occurrence, varying from time to time. However with the provision of increased facilities for vaccination and revaccination, a remarkable reduction in the incidence of the disease has resulted. The incidence of smallpox and the detail of preventive measures taken against it in the District, during 1947-68, are given in appendix III on page 505.

 

(v) Tuberculosis: - It is a major problem; though no definite surveys have been conducted in the district. The existing facilities for treating all cases of tuberculosis are meager. This disease is a national problem and is required to be met at the national level. To root out the disease, emphasis is being laid on the preventive side of the control. B.C. G programme has now been integrated with the other health activities of the primary health units/ centers. B.C.G technician have been posted tehsil wise. After covering the areas of one primary Health Unit/ Center, they move to another Primary Health unit/ Center in the Tehsil. In the district, after covering one area, the units move to another. The Technician visit every house and try to contact each individual A permanent record is kept to check the history of any T.B. patient found among person covered under the scheme. A Medical officer has been made in charge of vaccination in respect of the Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Kapurthala districts with head quarters at Amritsar. In the Amritsarcity, the Municipal Committee has made its own arrangements for the treatment of tuberculosis patients. Besides, two private institutions viz. the Sir Gujjarmal Kesra Devi Sanatorium and the Rai Bhadur Rattan Chand Thapar T.B. Clinic, are attending to T.B. patients.

 

(d)       Medical and Public Health Services

 

            Previously, medical services were divided into two wings, viz. Medical and health. The District Medical officer was responsible for the functioning of hospitals and dispensaries, and Medical and surgical work in the district besides being the Government medico-legal expert. The District Medical and Health Officer was in charge of the health wing and was responsible for the improvement of sanitation, disease prevention and health promotion service in the district. He was also to advice the municipality on public health matters. Both the wings worked under the administrative control of the Director health Service, Punjab. In April 1964, these two wings were combined. Under the new arrangement, the Chief Medical Officer is in charge of both the medial and health services in the district. The Medical Officer, employed by the Zila Parishad, has also been put under his control administratively. The member of staff employed by the Zila Parishad working under the Chief Medical Officer, however, draw their salaries from the Zila Parishad, This system has been enforced for the smooth and efficient working of medical and health services.

 

In the district, the Chief Medical Officer is assisted by 15 Medical Officer (Class I), 66 Medical Officers (Class II), 63 Medical Officers (other categories), 387 nurses and midwives, 56 dais, 278 technicians and X-Ray Assistants, 90, Dispensers, besides ministerial staff and other miscellaneous Class IV staff, numbering 101 and 948 respectively.

 

On the Health side, the Malaria Officer, vaccinators and those in charge of the medical dispensaries also assist the Chef Medical officer. The Zila Parishad performs similar functions. The municipalities also assist the Chief Medical Officer in the public health field. Out of all the Municipalities in the district, the progress made by the Amritsar Municipality in this field is particularly up to the mark. The Amritsar Municipality as employed 2 Chief Sanitary Inspectors and 7 Sanitary Inspectors who keep vigilant eyes over the sanitation. They are also empowered to take samples in respect of food adulteration. The Chief Medical Officer has also delegated full powers to thirty-nine persons (list given in appendix IV on pages 506-507). They can take samples of foodstuffs. This measures has been taken to check the adulteration of foodstuffs.

 

The entire population in the district is vaccinated against small pox in order to eradicate the disease.

 

The eradication of malaria was taken up at the national level. The disease has almost been eradicated from the district. The detailed activities of the malaria unit have already been mentioned in the preceding pages.

 

Hospital, Primary Health Centers, Dispensaries etc.

           

The expenditure incurred by the State Government on hospitals, primary health centers, dispensaries and other health service in the district in 1968 was Rs 35,88,672. These medical institutions include those pertaining to allopathic, Ayurvedic and Unani systems. All these under the control of Chief Medical Officer, Amritsar.

 

            Allopathic Medical Institutions: - As on December 31, 1968, there were 74 medical institutions (allopathic0 in the district. They’re tehsil-wise and area wise break-up is given below: -

 

Tehsil/ District

Total

Rural

Urban

Tehsil Amritsar

37

12

25

Tehsil Tarn Taran

13

9

4

Tehsil Patti

14

11

3

Tehsil Ajnala

10

8

2

District Amritsar

74

40

34

 

 

            The management wise break-up of the above 74 Medical Institutions (allopathic) is: 42 State Public, 7 State Special, 7 Municipal, 6 Zila Parishad, 4 Private aided, 6 Private Non- Aided, and 2 subsidized.

           

The list of primary health centers, dispensaries, hospitals, family-planning units/clinics, maternity and child-health centers in the district are given in appendix V, VI and VII respectively on pages 508 to 515.

 

Some of the important Government hospitals in the district are described below:

 

(i) V.J.Hospital, Amritsar. – Originally started as a municipal hospital, the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Amritsar, was provincialized in 1891. It is one of the best hospitals in the State and provides facilities for the diagnosis of diseases and for the treatment of patients. The institution is also a postgraduate training center of medicine and surgery.

 

            The special medical and surgical facilities available in the hospital are: specialized medical consultation and treatment; specialized and treatment in obstetrics and gynecology, including advanced cancer surgery, tuba surgery and research in various aspects of the subject; radiology and routine cataract and glaucoma surgery.

            Attached to the V.J. Hospital is the Ram Lal Eye and E.N.T. Hospital, which provides specialized treatment of eyes, ears, nose and throat. Its bed capacity is 88, which, during the operation season, may be increased fourfold.

 

(ii) Punjab Mental Hospital, Amritsar – Started in 1949, the hospital is situated on the Circular Road to the north of the city. This is the only neighboring States.

 

            The hospital provides the following types of treatment for mental patients:

 

Family-Care Unit: - The mental patients, who need hospitalized treatment for a short period, ranging from a few days to a few weeks, are admitted at the out-door level, in the general wards or in single-seated rooms. This wing of the hospital has been named the Family-Care Unit for the reason that one or two of the members of the family of the patient are required to stay along with him and manage his clothing, feeding and giving medicines under the medical supervision of the hospital.

 

Psychotherapy: -       This is a suitable type of psychiatric treatment given particularly to neurotic patients through direct conversation with them. The patient problems are studied in detail and then he is helped to solve them.

 

Occupational Therapy: -       The hospital has arrangements for giving to the patients creative and productive work, which is organized not on any business basic but in a way that promotes the treatment process. The hospital has facilities for agricultural work, weaving, tailoring, carpentry, black smithy, painting, toy making, leatherwork, carpet making, etc.

 

Child-Guidance Clinic: - The hospital runs a weekly clinic for children who have mental problems or behavioral difficulties. Free medicines are given to such children from the hospital and counseling is given to their parents regarding the ways they may employ to help their children to correct their behavioral difficulties and help them to grow up in the best possible manner.

 

Electro-Conclusive Therapy: - Generally known as the electric-Shock treatment, it is usually given to patients who come to the hospital in an excited or withdrawn condition.

 

(iii) T.B. & Chest Diseases Hospital, Amritsar: - Originally known as the R.B. Sir Gujjar Mal Kesra Devi T.B. Sanatorium and Kotu Mal Kesra Devi T.B. Infirmary, it was started in 1939 as a private institution. This hospital was taken over by the Government in 1949.

 

            The hospital has 255 beds for patients under going the treatment of tuberculosis and chest diseases. Facilities for minor surgical operations and routine laboratory investigations are available.

 

            A T.B and Chest-Diseases Center, which is a part of this institution, is located on the campus of the V.J.Hospital, Amritsar.

Ayurvedic and Unani Medical Institutions: -The indigenous systems of medicine, viz. Ayurvedic and Unani are quite cheap and suit the local needs. These have no side effects. However, owning to the lack of the patronage by the British, these systems lost their popularity. After the independence, the Government devised means to make these popular.

 

            As on December 31, 1968, there were 14 Ayurvedic and 4 Unani dispensaries and one Ayurvedic hospital in the district. Their table-wise and area-wise break-up is given below:

 

 

Total

Rural

Urban

Tehsil/District

Total

Ayurvedic

Unani

Ayurvedic

Unani

Ayurvedic

Unani

Tehsil Amritsar

6

5

1

5

1

--

--

Tehsil Tarn Tarn

7

5

2

5

2

--

--

Tehsil Patti

3

3

--

3

--

--

--

Tehsil Ajnala

3

2

1

2

1

--

--

District Amritsar

19

15

4

15

4

--

--

 

 The State Government manages all these institutions. Their detailed list is given in Appendix VIII on pages 516-517.

 

Blood Bank

 

            Blood transfusion is an unavoidable part of the treatment in many conditions. The use of blood as a therapeutic measure is on the increase in all branches of medicine and surgery.

 

            There is a Blood Bank in the V.J. Hospital, Amritsar. Its services are availed of by all the hospital attached to the Medical College, Amritsar; those associated with the V.J. Hospital, such as the Government Hospital for Women, T.B. Sanatorium, the Ram Lal Eye & E.N.T.Hospital, Amritsar; private and local bodies hospitals, such as the Prince of Wales Zenana Hospital, the Lady Emerson-Seth Chatarbhuj Maternity Hospital, the Prem Sewak Hospital; and other hospitals in the district.

 

            The work done by the Blood Bank in respect of collection and transfusion of blood is given in Appendix IX on page 518.

 

School Health Service

 

            The School Health Service Scheme was launched during the second Five-year Plan, 1956-61. A school Health Clinic was started in Amritsar in 1957. Two Medical Officers (One Eye & E.N.T. specialist), I Dental Surgeon, I Public-Health Nurse, 2 Dispensers, besides other miscellaneous staff have been provided for the clinic. Under this scheme, the doctors visit the schools, examine the school children and provide them with necessary medical aid. They give lectures to the children regarding good habits. They also enlighten them on general hygiene and cleanliness.

 

The details of work done by the clinic, during 1964-68, are given below:

 

Year

Number of schools visited

Number of students examined

Number of students treated

Number of students examined by the Dental Surgeon

Number of students given mass treatment for trachoma

1964

8

8,079

8,206

5,503

453

1965

10

13,705

6,745

18,705

257

1966

4

4,477

3,748

4,530

323

1967

5

3,094

4,530

2,530

668

1968

7

5,624

323

5,411

296

                                              (Source: Chief Medical Officer, Amritsar)

 

In the rural areas, the school health services are looked after by the Medical Officers in charge of the Primary Health Centers/Units. As regards medical examinations, the Sanitary Inspector/Dispenser and the Lady Health Visitor conduct them. The Medical Officers, in charge of the Provincial Rural Dispensaries, look after the medical needs of the school children in the areas within their respective jurisdictions.

 

Medical Aid during Floods

 

            Some parts of the Amritsar District, particularly the Ajnala and Amritsar Tahsils, used to be frequently affected by floods. Every year, the Ravi River and the Sakki Nala worked havoc in the Ajnala Tahsil. Flood relief, in the shape of food and medicines, was provided for the needy. Preventive measurement to check disease was also taken. The floods have now been controlled. The malaria disease has also been eradicated.

 

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