A pregnant woman at a village in Odisha’s Koraput district died. Her husband alleged that “non-availability” of ambulance to shift her to Jeypore hospital caused the death.

The deceased has been identified as Sakuntala Sagaria (20) of Gumma village in Boipariguda area.

Her husband, Kabi Sagaria, alleged that his wife succumbed at Boipariguda hospital on Saturday morning as ambulance under the Odisha Emergency Medical Ambulance Service (OEMAS) didn’t reached the hospital to shift her to Jeypore hospital, about 20 km away.

“My wife was seven months pregnant. As her condition deteriorated, we admitted her at Boipariguda hospital on Friday evening. After examining her condition, medical staff referred her to Jeypore hospital and we called the ambulance by dialling 108 but the ambulance didn’t reached the hospital,” Mr. Sagaria said.

“As financially we could not afford to hire a private taxi to shift my wife, we kept waiting for the ambulance but it never reached and my wife succumbed,” he added.

Villagers block road

After the incident, irate villagers blocked the Jeypore-Malkangiri road at Boipariguda demanding adequate compensation for the deceased’s family for which traffic was hit for several hours on the route.

However, the blockade was lifted after the administration gave compensation of Rs. 20,000 to the deceased’s family and assured of an inquiry into the incident. Going with the preliminary medical report, Chief district medical officer of Koraput Niranjan Das said: “The woman was suffering from anaemia and was referred to Jeypore hospital. But her family members didn’t shift her.”

“Janani Express ambulance of Boipariguda hospital is under repair and we will inquire to ascertain as to why the ambulance under OEMAS didn’t respond,” he added.

In September 2013, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had launched OEMAS for the tribal-dominated Koraput district.

With average response time of 20, 25 and 35 minutes for urban, semi-urban and rural areas, the emergency ambulance service is available round-the-clock and a patient can avail the service by dialling 108 toll free number during emergencies. — PTI

She was suffering from anaemia, says Chief Medical Officer