Image Source: aljazeera.com
Medical education reform activist Dr. Govinda KC is currently on his 19th hunger strike, for his demand to not only be acknowledged but implemented by the Government. Previously Dr. KC has been involved in 18 such hunger strikes resulting in mutual agreement with the government but still many of his demands have not been implemented yet.
Dr. Govinda KC started his 19th hunger strike since last Monday in Chandannath Municipality-6, Jumla. He has demanded that the government start the MBBS program at Karnali Academy of Health Sciences to ensure the access to medical education in the rural sector, expand the range of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for coronavirus across the country, and end lockdowns and prohibitory orders after making the use of mask, physical distancing compulsory for all and also an investigation of corruption in the health sector and strict action against them.
Dr. KC was forcefully taken to Karnali Health Science Academy by the police, where he refused to take any medication. Fearing the repetition of the incident from 2018 when security barged into Karnali Health Science Academy to take Dr. KC Kathmandu, resulting in a chaotic clash between Dr. KC’s supporters and forces, Govinda KC returned to Kathmandu through Nepalgunj. He wanted to continue his strike at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital but was taken to Trauma Center as soon as he landed in Kathmandu. It seems more like an abduction, he himself exclaims “How can you kidnap me instead of meeting my demands?”, “No, I won’t receive any treatment or monitoring.”
Nepal Medical Association and various organizations have appealed to the NHRC to take immediate initiative for saving Dr. KC’s life. At the moment the Government has taken COVID 19 as an excuse claiming that their hands are already full and it isn’t a suitable time to go for a hunger strike but it certainly doesn’t make up for the fact that even before the perilous situation of COVID 19, the demands have been left unmet.