Rashmi Drolia| TNN | 

Illustration for representational purposeIllustration for representational purpose
RAIPUR: A seven-month pregnant woman in labour for several hours gave birth to a premature baby in an auto-rickshaw after she was allegedly asked to go to private hospital in absence of doctors at community health centre (CHC), being it a Sunday in Chhattisgarh‘s Koriya district.
The woman was being taken to the district hospital in the auto when she delivered the baby on way with the help of a ‘mitanin’ (woman health worker).

Though the block medical officer said that he had asked the nurse at the CHC in question to send the woman to his home, the family chose to go to the district hospital in fear of being overcharged. The condition of the newborn is stated be critical and is admitted at NICU.

The family of the woman identified as Sunita, 25, was quoted as saying that the nurse staff at CHC in Pipariya region told them that the child was stuck upside down and she would need to undergo C-section, which wasn’t possible in absence of the two doctors including the BMO. As it was Sunday, there was no hope of any doctor turning up and the staff asked them to go to home clinic of block medical officer Dr Suresh Tiwari, who reportedly also runs a private hospital.

Nurses told them that only BMO could take decision in such case.

In a haste, the woman’s family decided to transport her to the district hospital at Baikunthpur, nearly 45km away and also feared that they would be overcharged by the doctor for surgery at his hospital. Instead of running from pillar to post, they hired an auto and proceeded for Baikunthpur.

The family was accompanied by a mitanin and they were 20km from the district hospital when the woman went into the labour and delivered the baby. The mitanin assisted her and immediately rushed her back to the CHC, from where the woman and her premature baby were shifted to the district hospital.

When contacted, BMO Dr Suresh Tiwari told TOI, “The CHC staff is not at fault. The woman came at around 10.30am and was told she couldn’t have a normal delivery. The gynaecologist was also on leave, but before the staff could suggest them further, the family disappeared from the centre. They didn’t even sought for Mehtari Express or ambulance which are always parked on the premises to deal with such emergency cases. It was the duty of the mitanin to suggest them to take an ambulance if they decide to take her to district hospital, or should have contacted me.”

The family returned by 12.30pm with the baby and were provided primary treatment before shifting. The condition of the baby is critical while woman is healthy, BMO added.

While Chhattisgarh boasts about excellent health services for expectant mothers, TOI has reported in October last year that state had lost as many as 3,184 newborns and 221 maternal deaths were reported in span of six months.

Also, in a similar incident in August, a pregnant tribal woman was forced to deliver the baby at a playground near a sub-health centre in Jashpur district after the doors of the centre were allegedly found locked in absence of staff, again being it a Sunday. The woman, who was going through severe labour, also had to walk down nearly two kilometres after calls made to 108 ambulance and 102 Mehtari express proved futile as the number was found busy.

Meanwhile, Koriya collector Narendra Dugga has ordered a probe into the case. He said that there seems to be a communication gap between the mitanin and the nurses at the CHC.