Air rescue saves lives of pregnant women and newborns in rural areas

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Sajina Tamang, a 17-year-old pregnant woman from Sertung in Rubi Valley-3 Rural Municipality, Dhading came to Sertung health post on August 8 to give birth. But she struggled to give birth even after hours of labor. Health workers advised his family to take him to Kathmandu immediately.

The local unit sent a recommendation to the district administration office which in turn advised the Ministry of Women and Elderly to arrange a helicopter to fly Tamang to Kathmandu.

The helicopter arrived at the village in less than an hour.

Tamang was taken to Paropakar Maternity & Women’s Hospital in Kathmandu where she gave birth the same day. “She was facing complications during the delivery and if the authorities had not intervened, I would have lost my wife and my child,” said Mini Tamang, her husband.

According to the Dhading district administration office, in the financial year 2021-22, sixteen people – 12 pregnant women and four other critical patients – received free air service. The pregnant women were rescued by the Ministry of Women, Children and the Elderly under the Presidential Women’s Enhancement Program.

The Rural Municipality of Rubi Valley has poor road infrastructure and pregnant women facing childbirth complications cannot get to the hospital in time for successful deliveries.

District chief officer Krishna Prasad Lamsal said the free air rescue of pregnant women in remote areas has saved several lives. “If the health facility in the village cannot provide specific medical services, the patient can be taken to Kathmandu immediately, under the coordination of the Ministry of Women, Children and Elderly,” Lamsal said. “This service is not only available to women in Ruby Valley but is also extended to women in Gangajamuna Rural Municipality and Khaniabas Rural Municipality, other remote local units.”

According to Deepak Adhikari, Health Coordinator of Gangajamuna Rural Municipality, several lives of mothers and infants in need of serious medical treatment have been saved thanks to the free air ambulance service.

Rural health posts do not offer specialized services as they are not equipped to do so due to geographical difficulties. In a bid to prevent premature deaths due to lack of health care, the government has provided free ambulance services and air rescue services to pregnant and postpartum women.

In the past fiscal year, five women were rescued by helicopter in the Rural Municipality of Rubi Valley, according to Adhikari.

Raj Tamang, Rubi Valley Rural Municipality health coordinator, said there were cases of premature deaths of mothers and children in rural areas due to lack of timely medical intervention. . The difficult topography, lack of road penetration and ineffective health services in the village have resulted in several infant deaths in remote villages.

Even though the legal age of marriage for women is 20 in Nepal, in rural areas people marry at young ages resulting in teenage pregnancies which endanger the life of the woman. mother and child.

According to Arun Tamang, head of the Gangajamuna rural municipality health center, the local unit, in coordination with the federal government, has taken steps to ensure that women opt for institutional deliveries to reduce the risk. complications during home births. “Most of the women in the village opt for home births due to, among other things, financial constraints. But the government has put in place several programs to encourage women to opt for institutional birth, under which pregnant women receive stipends for regular health checks that also cover transport costs and a diet. nutritious,” said Arun Tamang.

“Those who give birth to their first child at home absurdly think that their second child will also be born safely at home. But home births are mostly complicated, so we refer pregnant women to well-equipped hospitals for childbirth and the free air ambulance service has helped increase the number of women opting for institutional deliveries,” he said.

Suntali Tamang, a 17-year-old pregnant woman from Ri village in Gangajamuna-2 rural municipality, was taken to Ganesh Himal health post after suffering from severe pain in her abdomen. She was referred to Kathmandu after she started bleeding heavily at the health center. “It was not possible for an ambulance to pick her up because of the state of the road. A helicopter was called and she was flown to Kathmandu. She had a successful delivery in a hospital in Kathmandu,” said Arun Tamang.

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