KHOTANG, March 17: Birthing centers have been established in all wards of the Halesi Tuwachung Municipality in Khotang under the 'one ward, one birthing center' campaign.
Ram Kumar Bhagat, the municipality's health coordinator informed that birthing centers have been established in all 11 wards of the municipality. On Thursday, the mayor of the municipality, Iwan Rai and deputy mayor Bimala Rai jointly inaugurated the birthing center at the health post in Salle. The objective of the campaign is to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate, according to officials. All the birthing centers have trained health workers, equipment, medicines and enough space required for child delivery.
Earlier, women would have to go either to the only hospital at the district headquarters or outside the district for child delivery. Birthing centers in five locations -- Mangaltar, Badahare, Bahunidanda, Rajapani and Salle -- were set up within a short span of two months, according to the municipality.
Coordinator Bhagat also informed that Halesi Tuwachung has become the first local unit both in Khotang district and the entire Province 1 to have birthing centers in all wards. "It is also possible that our municipality could be the only municipality in the entire country to have birthing centers in all wards," said Bhagat.
The women who give birth at these birthing centers are also provided Rs 1,000 as transportation expense. Also women visiting the center for four prenatal checkups as per the schedule are provided Rs 400 as encouragement allowance. "We had to go through lots hardships while giving birth," said Rama Bhattarai of Badhare, adding, "Now women don't have to travel long distances risking their lives."