Baitadi, August 31

No sooner had she suffered from labour pain, Sita Dhungal, 25, of Baitadi, Puchaudi Municipality-9, Talladehi, was rushed to a nearby health post by her kin. But well before she could be taken to the health post, she delivered her baby.

As the woman suffered continuous bleeding, a local health volunteer contacted the health post and called for help.

Health workers from the health post reached the site and provided required treatment. They  also carried her all the way to the health post in a stretcher. “The woman was in serious condition following profuse bleeding, anything could have happened had we not reached the site on time,” said health post in-charge Hamsingh Saud.

Similarly, Kamala Bhandari, 20, of Purchaudi Municipality-5 also gave birth to her baby on the way to the health post about a month ago.

“Though there were men who were carrying her to the health post, they wouldn’t touch her after the baby was born due to some superstitious belief. Thank god we reached in time and treated her,” said Pashupati Kumari Bohara, an assistant nursing midwife at the health post.

In fact, giving birth to babies at home or on the way to the health facility is a common predicament that the women in the rural areas in the district have to face.

“There are some 126 parturition centres in the district, but only 64 per cent of delivery cases are conducted at such centres and other health facilities while others bear babies at home,” said public health nurse Mamata Joshi at district hospital Baitadi.

Though the government envisions access to health service in half an hour’s trek, in case of a few villages in the district women have to walk for two to three hours to avail themselves of the services.