Helicopter rescue programme for pregnant women effective in Gandaki ProvinceOut of the 14 women rescued in the past two years, 13 have been successfully treated.
Eighteen-year-old Aaikumari BK from Jomsom, Mustang, was airlifted to Pokhara on Tuesday after she experienced labour complications.
According to the Ministry of Social Development of Gandaki Province, BK was brought to Pokhara based on the recommendation of Mustang District Hospital.
Om Maya Bhandari, 20, from Burtibang in Baglung too was airlifted to Pokhara on Sunday. Like BK, she was also suffering from labour complications at a primary health centre in Burtibang.
“Bhandari was airlifted to Pokhara after she underwent complications while giving birth,” said Dr Ram Bahadur KC, chief of the ministry’s health division. "She was rescued under difficult circumstances."
The provincial government started the helicopter rescue programme for pregnant women who undergo birth-related complications two years ago. According to the ministry, the service is for pregnant women in areas not connected by roadways.
"The programme has been effective so far. However, we haven’t been able to spread the message about the service in rural areas,” said KC.
The provincial government has allocated Rs 4 million for the programme in the last two years.
Out of the 14 pregnant women who were rescued in the past two years, 13 have been successfully treated, according to the ministry.
A woman from Baglung suffered from excessive bleeding and died while she was being airlifted to Kathmandu last year.
Besides pregnant women, rescue operations are also carried for newborns (up to 28 days) who experience health-related complications.
Although the minimum legal age for marriage for men and women in Nepal is 20, most of the rescued women are below the age of 20. Parbati BK, who was rescued from Dhorpatan, Baglung, via helicopter in December last year was only 17.