Kathmandu, December 13
The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens has developed the procedure for providing air medical service to pregnant and lactating women who face the risk of death if not rescued and airlifted to a hospital immediately.
The procedure, which recently came into force, aims to provide quality and dependable service to pregnant and lactating women living in remote areas of the country where proper medical facilities required for the patients are not available, while implementing the right to safe maternity and reproductive health as set out in the constitution.
This facility will be available to women of Darchula, Baitadi, Bajhang, Doti, Achham, Jajarkot, Dailekh, Mugu, Kalikot, Jumla, Humla, Dolpa, Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Panchthar, Terhathum, Khotang, Okhaldhunga, Solukhumbu, Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk (Panchpikhari Thampalathap, Helambu and Jugal rural municipalities), Rasuwa, Dhading (Ruby Valley Rural Municipality), Gorkha (Sulikot, Arughat, Siranchowk, Gandaki, Ajirkot, Dharche and Chumnubri rural municipalities), Baglung (Dhortpatan and Galkot municipalities, Badigad, Nisikhola, Bareng, Tarakhola, Kanthekhola, Tamankhola and Jaimuni rural municipalities), Manang, Mustang, Myagdi, Easter Rukum, Western Rukum and Salyan districts.
The procedure states that air services would be procured from government and private institutions under the Public Procurement Act for the purpose of rescue of pregnant and lactating women. There shall be a nine-member Air Rescue Coordination Committee led by the chief of Women Empowerment Division at the MoWCSS to coordinate with the enlisted air service providers for the rescue of patients.
Similarly, a five-member Local Recommendation Committee headed by chief of the concerned local level shall be formed to make recommendation to the ARCC for the purpose of rescuing women and airlifting them to a hospital on need basis and depending on the financial condition of the concerned patients. “If it comes to notice that a pregnant or new mother should be immediately airlifted to a hospital for treatment or else she may die, the LRC shall recommend to the ARCC for her rescue,” the procedure reads. On receipt of such information, the ARCC shall direct the air service provider to airlift the woman from the said place. While rescuing the woman, she will be airlifted to the nearest hospital where necessary medical services are available. At least two family members or caretakers of the patient will be allowed to accompany her for support.
Patients of Province 1 will be airlifted to Koshi Zonal Hospital, Morang; Province 2 to Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital in Saptari, Janakpur Zonal Hospital or Narayani Sub-regional Hospital in Parsa; Province 3 to Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital in Kathmandu or Bharatpur Hospital in Chitwan; Gandaki Province to Western Regional Hospital in Pokhara; Province 5 to Lumbini Zonal Hospital, Rapti Sub-regional Hospital or Bheri Zonal Hospital in Banke; Karnali Province to Karnali Academy of Health Sciences; and Far-western Province to Seti Zonal Hospital, Dhangadi.
The air ambulance service shall be provided free of cost.
A version of this article appears in print on December 14, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.