The federal government provided free air rescue service to 87 pregnant and postpartum mothers last fiscal, said the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens.

According to the annual progress report (2019-20) released by the MoWCSC , the government saved the lives of 87 pregnant and postpartum women from remote areas of the country by airlifting them to health facilities in emergency rescue operations under the President's Women Upliftment Programme.

The government has been providing air ambulance service to pregnant and postpartum women facing risk of death for want of emergency medical service in line with the 'Procedure Related to Air Rescue of Pregnant and Postpartum Women of Critical Condition in Remote Areas-2018'.

The procedure aims to provide quality and dependable service to such women living in remote areas where proper medical facilities are not available.

The MoWCSC said the programme had been effective in implementing the citizens' constitutional right to safe motherhood and reproductive health. This facility is available to women of 30 districts fully and four districts partially. The air services are procured from government and private airlines under the Public Procurement Act for providing emergency air rescue service to women.

There is a nine-member Air Rescue Coordination Committee led by the chief of Women Empowerment Division at the MoWCSC to coordinate with enlisted air service providers for the rescue of patients. Similarly, there is a provision for a five-member Local Recommendation Committee headed by chief of the concerned local level to make recommendation to the ARCC for the rescue of pregnant and postpartum women based on the need and financial condition of the concerned patients.

The women are 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 the patient for support.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 14, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.