Ultrasound service in rural Kalikot a relief to local womenKhandachakra Municipality invested Rs 500,000 for the operation of ultrasound machine in Dahan Health Post, the first in the area to provide the service.
Bhawana Shahi of Dahan in ward 5 of Khandachakra Municipality went to Dahan Health Post on Sunday for an ultrasound scan. The 30-year-old, who is six months pregnant, was relieved to know that her foetus is healthy and in a normal position.
This is Shahi’s second pregnancy. During her first one, she had to go to a Surkhet-based hospital for medical assistance due to delivery complications. She delivered her first baby at the then Mid-western Regional Hospital in Kalagaun, Surkhet. Those were difficult times, says Shahi. Her family had to borrow Rs 40,000 for her month-long stay at the hospital.
“The availability of ultrasound services at the local health post has come as a huge relief. We don’t have to go to Surkhet or Nepalgunj now for prenatal checkups,” she said.
Dahan Health Post in Khandachakra started the ultrasound service—a first in the area to provide such a service outside Manma, the district headquarters of Kalikot—on Sunday.
“Pregnant women do not have to go to the district headquarters or other parts of the country to get an ultrasound scan. Now, we can diagnose pregnancy-related complications and save both mother and child with timely medical intervention at the local health post,” said Rupa Bhandari, chief at the health post.
The health post conducted ultrasound scans on 23 pregnant women from across the municipality on Sunday.
According to Bhandari, pregnant women from Dahan, Pakha, Chhapre, Jubitha, Ranchuli, Phoimahadev, Chilkhaya, Odanku, Gela, Kalika, and Mugraha, among other villages in the municipality, will benefit from the ultrasound service at the health post.
Khandachakra Municipality has also managed uninterrupted electricity supply through solar power to run the ultrasound machine.
According to the municipality, around Rs 500,000 was invested in the operation of the ultrasound machine.
Shanti Shahi, a staff nurse at the health post, and Sujita Shahi, another staff nurse from the District Hospital, received training to operate the machine. They have started providing necessary consultations after conducting ultrasound scans of pregnant women.
Bijaya Bista, deputy mayor of Khandachakra Municipality, said the local unit decided to deliver ultrasound services from the health post to avoid pregnancy-related deaths in remote villages.
“Timely medical consultation can save the lives of both mothers and newborns. The rate of maternal and infant mortality can be reduced,” said Bista.
In a bid to reduce infant and maternal mortality rate and to curb frequent pregnancies in women for want of a son, the municipality provides a Rs 100,000 cash prize to couples who undergo permanent family planning measures after delivering daughters.
Twenty-one-year-old Darshana Bishwakarma, who is seven-month pregnant, says the latest service at the health post has saved expecting mothers like her from worrying about the condition of the foetus.
“In our village, women are taken to health posts or hospitals only in case of complications during home births,” said Bishwakarma. “We are unaware of the health of our baby until it is born. Now that the ultrasound service is available in the village itself, I can rest easy knowing that my baby is safe and healthy.”
According to the data of the District Health Office in Kalikot, around seven to eight pregnant or postpartum women die due to delivery complications in the district every year.