Doctor, journalists come to the rescue of pregnant woman shunned by family in Odisha | india news | Hindustan Times
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Doctor, journalists come to the rescue of pregnant woman shunned by family in Odisha

The family refused to touch her over superstitious belief that men are not supposed to come near a woman in labour

india Updated: Sep 10, 2017 12:44 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Doctors, journalists carry a bleeding, pregnant woman on stretcher for 4km as family refuses to touch her over the  superstitious belief that men are not supposed to come near a woman in labour
Doctors, journalists carry a bleeding, pregnant woman on stretcher for 4km as family refuses to touch her over the superstitious belief that men are not supposed to come near a woman in labour

A doctors and a group of journalists in a tribal-dominated district of Odisha came to the rescue of a pregnant woman who was shunned by her family over superstitious belief that men are not supposed to come near a woman in labour.

The woman’s husband said he would have liked to help her, but tradition stopped him. “My wife would have died had the doctors and journalists not stepped in,” he said.

The woman was experiencing labour pain in Rayagada district’s Singhamuhi village and was bleeding profusely on Friday night when accredited social health activist (Asha) Geetanjali Pattnaik received information. As there was no road connectivity from the village to the nearest health centre, Patnaik urged the woman’s family members to carry her on a sling. However, they refused, citing their belief.

“As the due date of her delivery was near, I pleaded them to carry her to Kalyansinghpur community health centre. Her family members declined, saying a pregnant woman’s blood was impure,” said Pattnaik.

With the family unmoved, the Asha worker reached out to a doctor and some journalists who lugged the woman on a stretcher through muddy roads and a river for about 4km. From there onwards, the woman was carried in a jeep in which the doctor was travelling.

A local TV reporter was among those who helped.

Laxmi Kanth Sahu, in-charge doctor of Kalyansinghpur CHC, said he was returning from Rayagada when he got to know about the incident. “Along with a team of reporters we went to the village. As there was no road we had to carry her through the mud,” said Sahu.

The team tried to contact a 108 ambulance, but as there was no mobile network, the service could not be availed.

As the woman was bleeding for long, she was finally referred to the district headquarters hospital. “The woman had already lost much blood. We had to administer her two bottles of blood to stabilise her,” said Dr SP Padhi, additional district medical officer of Rayagada.