Other States

Demand for better medical care for pregnant women in Manipur

Dunong is a nondescript tribal village of about 30 houses in Tamenglong district in Manipur. It does not have modern facilities such as a motorable road or a healthcare facility. On August 10, about 10 Dunong youths volunteered to carry a pregnant woman to a hospital 58 km away, at Tamei. A bridle path that becomes almost inaccessible on rainy days is the only road by which villagers can access other parts of the State.

The youths carried the young woman on a makeshift bamboo litter in heavy rain. Many in the group accompanying them slipped and fell into roadside ditches. Along the way, some of the exhausted youths were relieved by other villagers. The angry young people said that the government had not constructed a proper road to the village despite appeals.

When they finally reached the primary healthcare centre at Tamei, doctors wanted the woman to be referred to the government hospital in Imphal. However, the youths pointed out that her family faced financial difficulties, and no ambulance or private vehicle was available. They told the hospital staff that the risk would have to be taken, that they would not go further. On Tuesday, the woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

The young mother was lucky. At least two pregnant women who were allegedly denied admission to government and private hospitals died recently in Manipur. Sandhya Laishram (22) of Wangjing Wangkhei in Thoubal district was given first aid for bleeding by a local nurse and moved to Imphal for better treatment. She was allegedly denied treatment by some hospitals and died on Monday.

On August 6, another pregnant woman was allegedly denied admission for her delivery by some private and government hospitals on flimsy grounds. When her husband finally took her to a private hospital at Langol in Imphal West district, doctors declared her brought dead.

Following her death, the Manipur government issued a directive to all hospitals that patients must not be denied emergency treatment. Angry activists said that the government’s instructions were observed only in breach.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 8:18:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/demand-for-better-medical-care-for-pregnant-women-in-manipur/article32344772.ece

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