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No doctor in health centre, Uttarakhand woman forced to deliver baby on bridge

This was not the first time a pregnant woman had to undergo a harrowing time in the hill state.

dehradun Updated: Oct 25, 2017 16:04 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand health services,Doctor,Pregnant woman
The pregnant woman, who was being taken for delivery, gave birth on a bridge in Tyuni area of Dehradun district on Tuesday.(HT File Photo)

A woman was forced to deliver her baby on a bridge in Chakrata area of Uttarakhand’s Dehradun district after failing to find a doctor or staff at a health centre in yet another example of the dismal medical services in the remote areas of the hill state.

Banita was rushed to the primary health centre at Tyuni in Chakrata, around 150km from Dehradun, from a remote Uttarkashi village but the government medical facility was locked and no staff was available there.

As her labour pain intensified, Banita’s family decided to take her on foot for the delivery to a hospital in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh. But Banita was unable to bear the pain and gave birth to a baby girl midway on a suspension bridge in Tyuni with the help of local women.

Activists alleged that despite being located near the seat of the Uttarakhand government in Dehradun, successive state governments have failed to improve health services in the Tyuni hills of Chakrata region.

“Health services are abysmal here ... There is only one (health) centre and that too has just one pharmacist and no doctors. How many more incidents will wake up the government?” an irate local activist Bharat Singh Rana asked.

This was not the first time a pregnant woman had to undergo a harrowing time in the hill state.

In April this year, a woman was forced to give birth outside a health centre in Tehri district as it was locked. The newborn baby boy died soon after being delivered. Last year, another woman was forced to deliver her baby on the road after the same centre was found closed but the infant survived.

In September last year, a pregnant woman from Tyuni area died on her way to Vikasnagar after enduring labour pain for more than seven hours as there were no doctors to attend to her. In October 2016, a woman’s newborn baby died soon after being delivered in the absence of medical attention.

According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) for 2015-16, Uttarakhand reported 69% institutional deliveries or those in a medical institution under the supervision of trained staff meaning around 31 out of 100 children were not born in hospitals.

Around 29% births took place without any assistance of a doctor, nurse, or any health personnel, the survey said.

Director general (medical health and family welfare) Dr Archana Srivastava said that a probe will be conducted into the incident.

“We (health department) have a shortage of doctors but we are trying to deploy doctors and medical staff in the region to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future,” she said.

First Published: Oct 25, 2017 16:04 IST