Even with health posts, Mugu women give birth in cowsheds

Mugu, April 6

Maghi Chadra of Hyalung in Mugu was taken to the family cowshed when her labour pain began a few days ago. Later, the 17-year-old gave birth to a baby boy at the cowshed after several hours of waiting in immense pain.

The family members, who refused to take Chadra to the Hyalung Health Post, which was a five-minute walk from their house, believe that birthing should take place in a cowshed as per their custom.

“The health centres set up across the district are seldom used as many rural women are not educated. They are not made aware of the risks and thus continue with the unsafe practice of giving birth in cowsheds,” Shankar Karki,  head teacher at Shiva Primary School, said.

Auxiliary Mid-wife at Hyalung Health Post Dipa Kumari Oli said that hardly 10 to 12 women give birth at the health post in a year. “ Even health workers could not change the mentality of the women here. They had carried out different awareness programmes but none seem to have worked,” Oli said.

Information Officer Pashupati Shahi in District Health Office, Mugu said that only 49 percent of women in the entire district give birth in health facilities. The district has 26 health facilities, including one district hospital, one primary health centre and 24 health posts. Delivery service was made mandatory by the government from 2007. Many locals say that health facilities lack specialist doctors, infrastructure and equipment.


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