Reacting to a Hindustan Times report on a tribal woman delivering a baby on road for absence of ambulances, Barwani collector Tejaswi Naik has on Thursday ordered a probe into non-availability of 108 ambulances or Janani express in Warla tehsil.
As repeated calls to 108 ambulance and Janani Express went unanswered, Simta Bai gave birth to a baby girl on a street of village Khutwadi of Warla tehsil on Wednesday.
Chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Barwani Dr Rajni Dabar will inquire the matter and submit a report within a week. Dr Dabar said she has issued a show cause notice to block medical officer (BMO), Sendhwa, Dr JP Pandit. “Against 22 Janani express, only 12 are functioning and only seven 108 ambulances are available out of 12 in the district,” she said.
“Vendors of Janani express used to get fixed monthly wages earlier. Nowadays, the vendor has to pay penalty if his vehicle runs less than the prescribed distance and covers fewer cases of pregnancy in a month, according to department norms. Thus vendors have reduced supplying Janani Express vehicles,” added Dr Dabar.
“Five 108 ambulances haven’t been functioning due to need of repair and change of vendors. We have already informed authorities about the problems. There is ample fund for the schemes.”
The CMHO maintained that hilly terrains of Barwani pose difficulties for people who travel long distances to visit the nearest community health centre. Moreover, tribal women are sturdy, keep news of their pregnancy a secret and end up delivering at home or on roads when in severe pain.
Contrary tothe CMHO’s claims, BMO Dr JP Pandit said lack of funds for running the Janani Express services were stopped 18 months ago while services of 108 ambulances in this region have been stopped since six months due to repairing issues.