September 17, 2017 03:40 AM NPT
By: Janak KC
JAJARKOT, Sept 16: Chandra Bahadur Oli of Risang village was worried for the last few weeks as the delivery date of his wife was nearing. He arranged enough money and made sure that he got enough time to take her to the hospital for delivery.
“Both time and money would matter a lot. We needed to think of that beforehand. Many women here have died due to the lack of timely intervention during such cases,” he said while adding that the situation seems to have changed now.
Oli's wife Chandrakala did not have to go to a hospital far away. On Saturday, her baby was safely born through surgical delivery in the Jajarkot hospital.
“It became possible as surgical deliver service is available at the hospital now. Otherwise, we would have to take her elsewhere,” said Oli.
The hospital had only 15 beds until two years ago. In the name of upgrading it, the administration added 35 beds. Fifty beds in the hospital indeed accommodated more people. However, the hospital had not been able to enhance other services to complement the addition of beds.
Recently, the hospital announced surgical delivery service round the clock. For the people of Jajarkot and around, it is not a small issue. According to Oli, this service has provided such a big relief to the locals that they cannot express it in words. “We have lost many babies, mothers due to the lack of emergency medical service nearby. There are no private health facilities providing such services here. So, the new service provided by the hospital means a lot to us,” he explained.
The service was inaugurated by operating on his wife. Oli said he and his wife are quite happy about it. “This is remarkable. We both felt great for getting good delivery services in our own place,” he noted.
The emergency delivery service was a long demand of locals. After the bed number in the hospital reached 50, people were hopeful of other services including surgical delivery being added, too. However, the service started just Saturday. Gynecologist Dr Rajiv Shah had handled the operation. His team was deployed at the hospital by Karnali Academy of Health and Sciences.
“The hospital saved my money and time. I am really very thankful and elated,” said the new father. He added that the hospital now needs to pay attention to the quality of services. “It's the first day. It's really a good service. But the thing is to keep it intact,” he said.
Locals are happy about experts handling the delivery cases. According to Oli, the lack of experts would discourage them from going to the hospital in the past.
Before starting the service on Saturday, the hospital held a press meet on its premises on Friday. During the press meet, the service and other features of the hospital were announced. “It is a great matter of relief and pleasure for the locals of Jajarkot and other neighboring districts. They now have an easy access to the best delivery service,” former health minister Shakti Basnet said during the press meet. “This will help ensure safe motherhood. Life of mother and child should not be at risk just due to the lack of such service,” he added.
Secretary of the health ministry, Dr Kiran Regmi also noted during the press meet that this service was long overdue and now it has become possible. “This service was of a great need here. Now, this service is available round the clock which is good news for the people in this region,” she said. “The government is committed to providing best health services to the people and trying its best to extend the services across the country,” she added.
According to Dr Chadani Jaiswal, acting medical superintendent of the hospital, a huge number of women will be coming to the hospital to receive the service. “This service will be so sought after that we will have to think about expanding it pretty soon. So far, people have been going elsewhere for delivery services,” she said, “Now, with the district hospital providing the srvice, scores of expecting mothers are going to come here only instead of visiting hospitals outside the district. The hospital has really been upgraded.”
According to Jaiswal, the records show that only 31.2 percent of women receive health services during pregnancy in Jajarkot, while 55 percent of women go for check up during pregnancy nationwide. “But we expect that this number will grow here now. We also need to work on awareness campaigns as well,” she remarked.