Adilabad: Delivering a baby, they say, is like a second birth for women. This holds good even now for women in remote areas since reaching a health centre continues to be a nightmare for them due to the lack of basic infrastructures like roads and bridges.
On August 22 last, when people were celebrating Raksha Bandhan, Kodapa Raju Bai, a Raj Gond tribal woman into her seventh month of pregnancy, visited her brothers at Kolamguda, a hamlet under Parshuwada (B) village in Gadiguda mandal, to tie rakhi. The 23-year-old developed labour pains and died while being shifted by her family members to a hospital the same day.
In October 2018, Rathod Ram, a farmer could not save the life of his wife who committed suicide following crop failure. He carried her on his shoulder and trekked three km to a private hospital and had to cross a stream that had knee-deep water on the outskirts of his village, Umri, in Narnoor mandal.
Though the cause of death may be different, the common denominator in the two instances is the basic facility – roads – that their villages have been deprived of for decades. The women could have survived if the villages had road connectivity and bridges across rivulets.
What is disturbing is that 12 pregnant women died at the time of their delivery in the erstwhile Adilabad district in 2020, most of them because of poor connectivity.
To prevent the recurrence of such incidents, officials set up ‘delivery waiting rooms’ at Community Health Centres in Boath, Utnoor and at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS)-Adilabad in 2020. Pregnant women who have issues during pregnancy are identified and they are shifted to these rooms at least 10 days prior to their date of delivery and are monitored by doctors. A bullock cart is arranged to shift the pregnant women if streams are flooded.
“Medical checkup of high-risk deliveries is carried out by doctors of local primary health centres on Monday. A scanning centre was created in Narnoor PHC. Proposals were prepared to hire a gynecologist for handling deliveries in Gadiguda and other mandal centres situated in interior parts of the district. However, awareness needs to be created among tribals over safe delivery,” District Medical and Health Officer Dr Narender Rathod told ‘Telangana Today’
542 habitations have no road facility
Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA)-Utnoor which encompasses 27 mandals of erstwhile Adilabad district. As many as 542 habitations still have no road facility. Most of them are surrounded by streams, which isolate these villages and make rushing pregnant women to nearby PHCs difficult. A whopping 144 villages are categorised as ‘critical villages’ by authorities of the Medical and Health Department, in the Adilabad district alone.
New mother treks for 3 km to reach home
Kumram Bheem Asifabad: In yet another heart-wrenching incident, a new mother belonging to a Scheduled Tribe community was forced to trek for three kilometres to get a 108 ambulance service when she developed labour pains from Murliguda to Kammargaon village in Penchikalpet mandal on Thursday. A photograph of the woman went viral on social media platforms on Friday.
According to a message circulated on WhatsApp groups, Portheti Kavita, a member of the Koya community from the remote village Morliguda developed labour pains on Wednesday and delivered a baby girl at a government hospital in Kaghaznagar on Thursday. She underwent the ordeal when she was returning from Kaghaznagar to Murliguda.
Kavita, accompanied by her three family members and ASHA worker, is seen walking barefoot on a road to reach her village when the staffers of the 108 ambulance dropped her at Kammaragaon citing lack of a blacktop road facility to Morliguda. One of her family members was carrying the newborn, while others were helping her by shipping their luggage.
The photograph was widely shared on social media platforms and many users found fault with authorities. They regretted that the residents of the interior parts were facing hardships following tacky transportation facilities and connectivity.