MEDICAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES
THE PEOPLE IN THE DISTRICT, IN KEEPING WITH THE TREND SEEN
ALL OVER THE COUNTRY have become health conscious recently.
The growth or public health and medical facilities thus is a
development of recent origin. During the early period the disease was rarely ascribed to some physical disorder. It was often ascribed to some outside evil influence which was propitiated by some sacrifice. The vaidyas, who used to give treatment according to the ayurvedic system of medicine and who acquired their knowledge through inheritance from their forefathers and experience gained during their course of medical practice and hakims and vaidus whose system of diagnosis did not essentially differ from the ayurvedic system of medicine formed the core who dominated the field of medical profession till recently.
The ayurvedic system of medicine that was regarded as an integral part of Indian culture as is evident from the voluminous treatises on the subject such as Sushruta, Madhava Nidana and Vagbhata was based on the medicinal properties of herbs and plants. The use of minerals was also developed in ayurveda which it used as ras or bhasma which was not possible without a thorough knowledge of chemistry.
The hakims, came to India with the establishment of Muslim power in the country. They practised in unani system of medicine having its origin in Arabia. Ayurveda has a great influence upon this system of medicine. With the decline of Muslim power, they lost their royal patronage.
The vaidus moved from place to place and had good knowledge of rare herbs rich in medicinal properties. In the absence of specialised veterinary practitioners, they occasionally treated the live-stock. Though the modern and up-to-date maternity facilities were conspicuous by their absence, very often the personal experience of the elderly ladies in the joint families proved highly useful to the young expectant mothers. For minor illness in case of other members in the family, these ladies used to give medicines from the small stock maintained by them and that was known as ajibaicha batava.
However with the passage of time and with the spread of Western education conservatism and orthodoxy were replaced by reason and rational outlook. That also brought in vogue allopathic system of medicine.
The medical facilities in the district of Chanda as existed at
the time of the publication of old Chanda Gazetteer in 1909 were as
Medical Relief.-" The District has in all 13 dispensaries, two
at Chanda, one being the police hospital, one at each of the following places-Warora, Mul, Brahmapuri, Gadhchiroli, Armori, Sironcha, Venkatapur, Chimur, and Ahiri, one under the Forest Department of Alapalli and one in connection with the colliery at Ballalpur. In addition to these there were in 1907 five temporary dispensaries, three in connection with P.W.D. roads and two on irrigation works. In 1907, 621 in-door and 78,989 outdoor patients were treated, the daily average being 12.06 indoor and 317.90 outdoor patients for all charitable dispensaries. The dispensaries are maintained out of funds raised by contributions from Government, local bodies and private persons. The Chanda Victoria dispensary was built in 1906 and has accommodation for 12 resident patients. Warora dispensary can accommodate 5 patients, Brahmapuri 4, Sironcha 12 and Mul 1. Midwives arc attached to the dispensaries at Chanda and Warora. The Vaccination Department consists of a Superintendent and 15 vaccinators. The cost of operations in 1906-07 was Rs. 2,611-4-0. In that year 22,493 persons or 3.90 per cent of the population of the District were successfully vaccinated as compared with 2.59 per cent in 1900-01. Very few adults will submit to vaccination, and in certain parts of the District all vaccination at once stops as soon as an outbreak of small-pox declares itself, as vaccination is supposed to anger the deity who presides over this disease. There is a veterinary dispensary at Chanda under the management of the District Council. The average daily number of patients treated in 1907-08 was 11.18".