BIRENDRANAGAR, Aug 9: Roop Kumari Bohara, 22, of Tripurasundari-1, Dolpa died on Wednesday due to delivery-related complications. Soon after her labor pain, she was rushed to Nepalgunj but she couldn't receive successful delivery treatment and died there. According to doctors, the baby was in an abnormal presentation and that caused the complications.
On July 28, Devi Sahakari, 30, of Narharinath Rural Municipality of Kalikot died due to excessive bleeding during her pregnancy. Anarupa Tamata, 20, of Saya village, Sarkegadha Rural Municapility of Humla died at the Sarkegadha health post.
These women are only a few representative cases of many women who die prematurely due to labor complications in Karnali. Many women die in Karnali due to the lack of proper treatment.
Women of Humla, Rukum (West), Jajarkot, Jumla, Dolpa, Mugu and Kalikot are dying due to lack of awareness. Among them, women of Humla are at high risk.
The government of Karnali Province introduced 'air lifting' service last year to help pregnant women but the service has not been effective.
Last year, the Karnali government rescued 15 pregnant women and new mothers while 11 women had to lose their lives prematurely.
Chief of Health Division of the Ministry of Social Development, Birkha Bahadur Shahi, said, “Only a total of Rs 11.5 million was spent on air-lifting. Some amount allocated for air-lifting was spent on the food supplies for patients.”
The Ministry of Social Development has now termed the air-lifting service as Emergency Health Service Fund for which the provincial government has earmarked Rs 5 million, said Minister for Social Development Dal Rawal.
“It is only a temporary solution for the time being. At least one doctor in each health post is necessary to reduce the maternal deaths,” he said.
According to health practitioners, carelessness during pregnancy, conducting delivery at home instead of going to health posts, lack of regular follow-ups are major reasons of high maternal death in Karnali.Women prefer deliveries at their homes due to the lack of awareness and shying to go to health posts for delivery even if maternity departments are established in the rural areas, said Karna Bir Shah of Humla.
Maternal services are provided in around 250 health facilities in Karnali, according to Binod Acharya of Health Directorate. But these services haven't become effective in the remote areas due to the lack of awareness. According to deputy mayor of Musikot Municipality, Rukum, Prem Kumari Sunar, “Maternal centers should be technically equipped which would save lives of many pregnant women.” Lok Bahadur Naka of Simli said that maternal death rate can be decreased if skilled professionals are available 24 hours at the health posts.
The government has also been giving incentives for women who come to the health posts for delivery. The government is providing Rs 400 each to women who come for regular follow-ups at four months of pregnancy and Rs 1,000 along with clothes for both mother and new born after delivery, said Social Development Minister Dal Rawal.