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Shocking: A pregnant tribal woman uses a blade to deliver her baby on her way to the hospital

Andhra Pradesh:It is indeed shocking to know the state of our healthcare system, when a tribal woman delivered her own baby after using a blade to cut her womb as she was unable to reach a hospital in time.

This horrific incident happened on December 23 in Maredumilli mandal which is an agency area in East Godavri district. This just goes to show how dismal are the health facilities available in this place.

Sources have informed that the tribal woman K. Lakshmi,30, along with her husband Seethanna Dora were on their way to the government hospital at Rampachodavaram from their village in Kintukuru in Maredumilli mandal. Now the distance between the two is 10km and to reach the main road people have to cross ghats where it is more likely to get an ambulance to the hospital.

As both the husband and wife were walking to the hospital, on their way, Lakshmi started having contractions. When she could not see any other option and the pain was getting unbearable, she chose to deliver the baby using a blade.

Fortunately for the couple, the newborn survived and Lakshmi’s husband called 108 ambulance service with the help of some local villagers. She was later taken to the Rampachodavaram  hospital. This is her fifth delivery.

The hospital authorities had suggested Lakshmi and her family members to stay in the hospital for a few more days so that the condition of the mother and child is stable but they paid no heed and went anyways.

There have been accusations against the government hospital that the health workers were unable to bring Lakshmi to the hospital at the required time. On behalf of the hospital, Dr. Gowtham Jogi has stated that the tribal people have been instructed to get admitted in the hospital atleast 10 days from the delivery date so that they can take advantage of the facilities of food and waiting rooms.

District medical and health officer Dr. K. Chandraiah has also alleged that many tribal women go for self- deliveries and it is a common practice among them. He has urged the health workers to spread awareness among the people about the importance of safe deliveries. He also added that there would be an enquiry into the whole incident.

Fingers can’t be pointed at just one party. Both share equal blame. Our healthcare system especially in the rural area should be made more available to the villagers and tribal people. These people need to be educated about the benefits of having safe deliveries and taking advantage of the facilities provided at the hospital. The health workers should also be trained to be more proactive towards the emergency situations.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

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