Mapping Jaipur and its reluctance to sexual health

Hidden Pockets Collective visited Jaipur as part of our mapping studies and went in looking for government hospitals in Jaipur. A lovely city  which is full of colourful people, we were really looking forward to this study. We visited Prayas, an excellent NGO working on the issue of Public Health and Medicines in Rajasthan and decided to seek their assistance before we started our mapping. This time, we wanted to cover different forms of public health facilities and understand how were people using facilities at different parts of the city.

Every time we ask someone for government hospital, people tend to tell us the name of biggest government hospital in their cities. It was the same case in Jaipur, as asked people around and did some search on internet we ended up looking at SMS Hospital and Medical College in Jaipur. It was conveniently located right in the middle of the city. It was crowded. We entered from Gate number 3 and went looking for sexual and reproductive services in the government , we were guided towards the Dhanvanthri department, Parivar at first floor in Room number 17.  It was right next to free medicine counter.

Then we headed towards a district hospital :Rukmani Devi Beni Prasad Jaipuria Hospital, located in Milap Nagar. We had heard that it had a One Stop Crisis Centre – Aparajita for rape survivors. It was a clean hospital which had a very good ambience for people. It was not at all crowded like SMS hospital and seemed like a good alternative for Sexual and Reproductive Health services. The images on the wall was a refreshing change from the normally sad looking walls of a hospital.

Post this, we headed towards Zenana Hospital, a hospital that was specifically for women and children. It was located right opposite to the Chandpole metro station. It was easy to locate though really crowded. Even though we were able to find services listed on various boards, we just could not find the rooms. We asked people around, even used the fancy not-so working info- booths, we just could not find the rooms for adolescent friendly health clinics, and other services.

We were really surprised by the number of posters for wifi in the different government hospitals. It seemed interesting that government was heavily promoting the usage of internet and technology in its various forms in the hospitals. Sadly none of them were in functional phase. 

Our last visit to Sanganer, which was bit far away from the city. We went there looking for a Community Health Centre, Sanganer.  A CHC is secondary level of health care and provide specialist care to patients referred from Primary Health Centres. A CHC is a 30-bed hospital providing specialist care in obstetrics and gynaecology according to the Indian Public Health Standards prescribed by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in 2012. So we decided to find this CHC. It was a bit far and we realised nobody really understands the term CHC, but if we referred it as “Sarkari hospital”, we were able to evoke response.

We didn’t see any crowd there as well and we were surprised to see a clean gynaecologist room and a room for counselling for Adolescent Friendly Health Clinic. We also encountered a poster that read in Hindi “Surakshit Garbhapath” which meant Safe Abortion. We were so happy to see a poster providing such positive message in the middle of a small town in Jaipur.

We were really happy with the services available in the Community Health Centre and returned back to our bus ride to Jaipur. On our way back, we wondered about the reason for people to head to big referral hospitals in cities, wasting time and their resources when they have good services in their towns.

We do understand there is a lear gap between implementation of these policies, and also lack of interest on the sides of service providers in assisting people in these smaller health centres, but if we could de-congest the big hospitals and still make this a good opportunity for the service providers. It would provide a great deal of relief for the patients of the related area. Until then, these were some of the hospitals that we visited in Jaipur and generally had a good experience.

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