Specialist services for pregnant women begins at Kolti Primary Health CentreWomen with obstetric issues in nine local units of Bajura, Humla, Kalikot and Jumla will benefit from the service.
Basanta Pratap Singh
Asmita BK of Kotila in Budhinanda Municipality-6 underwent a Caesarean section at Kolti Primary Health Centre on Friday. She had expected a normal delivery but had to opt for a C-section to prevent delivery complications. If BK’s delivery date was only a week ahead, she would have faced problems seeking C-section service in the remote municipality.
“I feel lucky to have received the specialist service in Kolti itself. It was my first pregnancy and I was very worried about safe delivery,” BK told the Post. “The health centre started the service just in time and saved me and my baby. Many pregnant women in the area have died for the lack of timely medical intervention.”
Kolti Primary Health Centre in the northern part of Bajura, a remote hill district of Sudurpaschim Province, initiated specialist services in gynaecology and obstetrics including caesarean surgery for the first time last week.
Thousands of people living in nine local units of Bajura, Humla, Kalikot and Jumla districts stand to benefit from the specialist health service at the health institution.
According to Om Jung Shahi, health unit chief of Budhinanda Municipality, a team of health workers led by specialist doctor Sonam Gurung conducted BK’s C-section.
The Kolti Primary Health Centre commenced the specialist gynaecology and obstetrics service at the initiation of the Jumla-based Karnali Academy of Health Science and Budhinanda Municipality.
The local people, mainly women, are happy with the introduction of gynaecological and obstetrical services in Kolti. “Our sisters and daughters die due to the lack of good health service every year,” said Sangita Bista of Budhinanda-2. “Now we don't have to worry about losing mothers and their babies to pregnancy complications.”
Budhinanda Municipality provides Rs20,000 for the rescue of pregnant women and postpartum mothers in case their treatment is not possible in the local unit. But the rescue, according to Bista, is not effective due to the lack of regular air service at Kolti Airport.
Previously, the local people in the Kolti area had to take pregnant women with complicated health issues to either Martadi, the district headquarters of Bajura, or Dhangadhi and Nepalgunj by spending thousands of rupees to get treatment from specialist gynaecologists and obstetricians.
“Pregnant women from neighbouring Kalikot, Humla and Mugu districts can now visit Kolti Primary Health Centre for safe delivery,” Shahi, the health unit chief, said. “We are optimistic that the maternal mortality rate in Bajura will decrease with the beginning of specialist services in Kolti.”
According to him, an average of around 30 pregnant women visit Kolti Primary Health Centre in a month. “Among them, five to seven patients with complicated health situations were referred to other hospitals,” Shahi added. “Some of those referred patients died while a few others gave birth on the way.”
The newly-established service in Kolti will benefit people from Khatyad Rural Municipality of Mugu; Palata and Pachal Jharana rural municipalities of Kalikot; and Tajakot, Adanchuli and Sarkegad rural municipalities of Humla.
Janak Bohara, the mayor of Budhinanda Municipality, said he has prioritised initiating the specialist gynaecological and obstetrical service in Kolti ever since he assumed office seven months ago. “We frequented Kathmandu and Jumla several times and our efforts finally paid off,” he said. “No women will have to die due to pregnancy complications from now onwards.”
According to Bohara, Karnali Academy of Health Sciences and Budhinanda Municipality have each agreed to bear half of the salary of a specialist doctor and operation theatre nurse at Kolti Primary Health Centre.
Bohara said efforts are under way to initiate other specialist services as well. “Enhanced health services will not only serve the locals of Kolti but will provide a lifeline to locals of the neighbouring districts as well,” he said. “We will soon manage a consultant general practitioner at the Kolti Primary Health Centre.”