Less than 50pc pregnant Ilam women seek medical check-up

Himalayan News Service

Ilam, April 12:

Less than 50 per cent women go for a medical check-up during pregnancy in Ilam district. The number of those taking a regular check-up is even far less – around 17 per cent in the district. Chief of district health office Ilam, Sagar Prasai, said that various reasons are responsible for the low turn-out such as non-cooperation by family members to visit the health post, lack of awareness among women to visit the health centre, the far off location of health posts with no guarantee of services once they reach there. According to data provided by the district health office, 12,116 women become pregnant in Ilam every year. Out of them, 46 per cent or 5,576 take health check-up. Those receiving health check-up at least four times a year are just 2,456. Only 11 per cent women deliver under the supervision of health workers and six per cent take the help of midwives. The rest give birth at home in the presence of family members.

Medical superintendent of the district hospital Ilam, Dr Tara Nath Pokhrel, said that insecure birth in rural areas are widespread as people are not even interested in taking the help of midwives, are hesitant to visit the health posts and receive no cooperation from the husband and other family members. The period of 40 days after delivery are crucial for both the mother and the new born as they do not go for a medical check-up. In Ilam, maternity service

is available in one hospital, three primary health centres, seven health posts and 38 sub-health posts. In addition, 185 village-level clinics are running in the district.