A 25-year-old pregnant woman had to be carried to the hospital for her delivery in a makeshift stretcher (doli) after ambulance services were unable to reach her home located on a hilltop.
The woman, who lived in a hamlet named Siravara in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh, developed premature labour pains while she was being carried in the stretcher and gave birth on the way. The baby boy lost his life.
"The woman developed premature labour pains due to which the baby, born after seven months of pregnancy, died. The early labour could have been caused because she was strained," Vizianagaram DMHO (District Medical Health Officer) Dr Vijaya Lakshmi told TNM.
The woman has been shifted to Parvatipuram area hospital and was given five units of blood. She is out of danger now, the DMHO stated.
A 12-km trek downhill on makeshift stretcher for 25-year-old pregnant woman in #Vizianagaram #AP to reach ambulance proved costly for her preterm baby boy who passed away; bleeding mother shifted to ITDA hospital; no road connectivity to 15 tribal hamlets @ndtv @tweetsreekanth_ pic.twitter.com/V8Gv1rVks7â€” Uma Sudhir (@umasudhir) July 31, 2018
Several incidents have been reported in the past where ambulances have not been able to reach the remote hilly tribal areas in Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra government recently started feeder ambulances services for medical emergencies in these areas.
Out of a total 122 feeder ambulance services, 24 were allocated to the Parvatipuram ITDA area, where the woman's village is located.
"The area is hilly and it is difficult to even walk down easily. Even feeder ambulances cannot get there," the DMHO added.
Paravatipuram ITDA PO, Lakshmisha, speaking to local media, said that the local medical staff usually has data on pregnant women and makes prior arrangements ahead of the date of delivery. However, since there was a premature birth, in this case, those arrangements could not be made.
"We will bring the matter to the notice of higher authorities to address such cases effectively," the official said.
Earlier this June, a similar incident was reported from neighbouring
Shaik Ghouse, an activist from ARTS (Action for Rural Technology and Services), an NGO working in the Parvatipuram agency, felt that nutrition centres with accommodation facilities may help in preventing such situations.
"The government should run the nutrition centres for tribal women and notify that all the pregnant women be given accommodation, along with the required nutrition till the time of delivery from seventh month itself," Shaik said.