Pregnant women in rural Gorkha face a tough timeDespite being in labour for 24 hours, Sarita Gurung, 29, of Kerauja in Dharche Rural Municipality, Gorkha, could not give birth.
Despite being in labour for 24 hours, Sarita Gurung, 29, of Kerauja in Dharche Rural Municipality, Gorkha, could not give birth.
After delivery was not possible at the local health post due to complications, she was on Friday airlifted to Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in the Capital where she gave birth to a boy.
Maya Gurung, 24, of Dharche was brought to Kathmandu last week after she faced a similar problem—long hours in labour.
She gave birth to two babies. Both are happy to be blessed with babies.
But not everyone can afford to fly to Kathmandu—on a chartered helicopter—to give birth.
For women in rural areas of Gorkha, lack of facilities makes child birth an extremely expensive affair.
Villagers say they have to pay around Rs 100,000 to charter a helicopter.
Majority of settlements of Dharche and Chumanubri Rural Municipalities are not connected with road networks.
“Pregnant women are taken to health posts only after they are in labour pain for long hours. Whey delivery is not possible at health posts, the only option is airlifting the pregnant women to Kathmandu,” said Suk Bahadur Gurung, chairman of Dharche Rural Municipality.
Those who can afford charter helicopter and fly to the Capital, but others with poor economic background are facing difficulties, locals say.
Phulmaya Gurung, vice-chairperson of Chumanubri Rural Municipality, laid stress on proper roads linking to areas where there are better health facilities. “Vehicles cannot ply the dirt roads during rains,” said Phulmaya.
Though Nepal has made strides in safe motherhood, with over half of pregnant women approaching birthing centre for delivery, in places like Gumda and other remote areas in Gorkha, expectant mothers seem to be left behind.
“There are no proper resources and equipment in the birthing centre at Gumda. In addition, it takes a whole day to reach Gumda,” said Dhanmaya Ghale, a local woman from Kerauja.
Nawaraj Khadka, an information officer at the District Public Health Office (DPHO), has set up a trust to rescue pregnant women from remote areas. “The trust will manage helicopter fares for the family if a pregnant woman needs to be airlifted,” said Khadka.
The trust was established under the safe motherhood programme.