KHOTANG, Dec 31: A recent survey conducted by the District Health Office (DHO), Khotang shows that around 75 percent of the women in the district still deliver babies at home instead of birthing centers.
During the fiscal year 2016/17, only 25.54 percent of the total women delivered their babies at health centers while the rest welcomed their babies at their home. As informed by Dr. Ram Bahadur KC, chief of the District Hospital, despite conducting awareness programs and advocating for women's health, a large number of women still give births at home risking their lives. It has been found that a pregnant woman is taken to birthing center only if she needed medical help.
Similarly, during the fiscal year 2014/15, only 21.22 percent of the women had delivered child in birthing centers while in 2015/16, the numbers stood at 21.96 percent. A pregnant woman is supposed to go for checkups at least four times before birth but most of the women neglected these checkups. “We have time and again insisted women to come for regular checkups but they hardly listen to us,” said Dr. KC, adding, “They do come for first checkup but don't continue with the follow checkups.” As per the details provided by the District Hospital, as many as 8 pregnant women and 23 infants died in the fiscal year 2016/17.
The number of women taking vitamin 'A' and iron tablets during pregnancy is disappointingly low. This has badly affected the health and development of newborns.
Along with that, the number of couples adopting family planning means has been declining in the recent years. During the fiscal year 2014/15, the number of couples using contraceptives was 34.89 percent, this increased to 36.26 percent in the year 2015/16. However, the percent dropped down to 28.10 during the fiscal year 2016/17.