HIV positive pregnant woman in Odisha ‘denied treatment’, delivers stillborn
Expressing his disappointment with the incident, Odisha health and family welfare minister Naba Kishore Das has ordered a probe into the incident.Updated: Dec 14, 2019 23:59 IST
In another case of alleged discrimination against HIV positive patients in Odisha, a virus-infected pregnant woman delivered a stillborn after she was refused treatment at a government medical college and hospital in Mayurbhanj district. A 28-year-old HIV positive man from the Keonjhar district had hanged himself after he was allegedly denied treatment by a government hospital in 2018.
Wife of Surai Hembram experienced labour pains on December 11 morning following which she was admitted to Rairangpur Sub-Divisional Hospital for a day before being sent to Pandit Raghunath Murmu Medical College and Hospital at Baripada town.
However, no doctor or nurse at the medical college and hospital attended her from Thursday morning, said her husband.
“She suffered immense pain the entire night. She delivered a stillborn today due to medical negligence. Despite my requests, the doctors didn’t even touch her as she is an HIV positive patient,” alleged Surai Hembram, the husband of the woman.
His account was corroborated by other family members and an ASHA worker.
“Had the attending doctors taken up surgical procedure to deliver the baby it could have been saved,” said Pakapura Soren, the ASHA worker.
Mayurbhanj chief district medical officer Rupabhanu Mishra said he had asked the doctors as well as the paramedics at the labour room to look after the patient, but they did not follow his advice.
Expressing his disappointment with the incident, Odisha health and family welfare minister Naba Kishore Das has ordered a probe into the incident.
“I don’t understand how a doctor can refuse to treat someone,” said Das.
A day ago, a 40-year-old man of Mayurbhanj had immolated himself to death frustrated over the spread of the disease in his body. The man was living alone after the death of his parents and did odd jobs to make a living. He was reportedly under depression for quite some time.
Social workers in Mayurbhanj alleged that despite having a sizeable number of patients, there was no anti-retroviral therapy centre and care centre in the district.
There are 1089 HIV positive patients in the district of which 10-15 die every year. Many of the HIV positive patients face discrimination, alleged Sandhyarani Nanda, a social worker.