Health ministry airlifts 16 pregnant women in three years

Kathmandu, February 3

As many as sixteen pregnant women from different rural parts of the country were airlifted for treatment by the Ministry of Health and Population in the last three years.

The Department of Health Services has been providing free airlift services to the pregnant and lactating women, who face serious health issues, under Family Health programme since 2015.

According to the data with Family Welfare Division, sixteen women were airlifted between the fiscals 2015/16 and 2017/18.

Public health officer at FWD Om Khanal said two women from Mugu and one from Humla received the service in the fiscal 2015/16. Bimala Baniya was referred from Shreekot Health Post, Mugu, to Bheri Zonal Hospital, Banke, due to complications during pregnancy. “She was airlifted to Bheri Zonal Hospital, but doctors could not save her baby,” he added.

In the same fiscal, Jayadevi Lama, who was into 29th week of pregnancy, was airlifted from Kohalpur Medical College, Banke, to Kathmandu. Doctors couldn’t save her baby as well.

In the fiscal 2016/17, seven pregnant women were airlifted. Among them, three women lost their newborns and one woman lost her life.

Similarly, in the fiscal 2017/18, six pregnant women received the service. Of them, one died during the course of treatment while one woman lost her child.

Khanal informed that Rs 6.9 million was spent for providing airlift service to pregnant women in the last three years. “Now we have handed over the responsibility of airlifting pregnant women to the local government,” Khanal said, adding, “The ministry only coordinates with the local government and allocates budget for the purpose.”

Khanal also said that the ministry had allocated Rs 500,000 each for Province 1, Province 2, Gandaki Province and Sudurpaschim Province, while Rs 5,000,000 had been allocated for Karnali Province to provide airlift service to pregnant and lactating women in rural areas.

“The ministry hasn’t allocated budget for Province 3 as it has good health facilities,” he said.