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Mother Delivers Baby In Auto-Rickshaw As Janani Express Fails To Arrive, Baby Slips From Auto, Dies

29 August 2016

Sadashiv Praharaj

Nabrangpur: Witnessing the rotting and crumbling health infrastructure of Odisha, an expectant mother delivered her baby in an auto- rickshaw few kilometers away from the hospital, and the baby died after taking birth falling from the auto-rickshaw.

The mother, Jamuna Bhatra of Chalanguda village, Umerkote block in Nabrangpur district was experiencing labour pain from early in the morning. Her husband, Madhu Bhatra had called the ‘Janani Express’, a novel transport system for carrying expectant mothers to the nearby health institutions.

The couple waited for a few hours, but Jamuna’s pain had increased. So, they hired an auto-rickshaw with the help of the local ASHA workers and took the pregnant woman to the nearest Community Health Centre (CHC), Umerkote which is 20 kms away from their village.

Owing to the bad condition of the kuchha road they were travelling, Jamuna delivered a baby girl in the auto-rickshaw few kilometers away from the CHC. Moreover, the mother was so weak that she was unable to hold her baby properly and the baby slipped, thereby causing her death.

The ASHA workers along with the parents of the dead infant are protesting in front of Umerkote Community Health Centre (CHC) holding the dead infant.

They are demanding a compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs and transfer of the Collector and the Chief District Medical Officer. The Inspector-in-charge and Tehsildar have intervened and pacified them ensuring to take adequate action regarding the incident.

Notably, there are around 362 villages in Nabarangpur district where the government’s initiative, ‘Janani Express’ simply does not reach, according to sources. There are no proper roads to 221 villages in the district making it very difficult to implement the schemes of the government for the betterment of the people

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