Maharashtra: With no roads to hospital, tribal woman loses newborns
In a shocking incident last week, a tribal woman in Maharashtra witnessed the death of her newborns as there was no road to rush them to the hospital. The woman from Palghar, Vandana Budhar, lost her twins to low access to healthcare. Heart-rendering images later showed Budhar being rushed to a hospital on a temporary 'stretcher' for treatment.
On Saturday, a seven-month pregnant Budhar went into labor at her home in Markatwadi, Botoshi (160 km from Mumbai). Unable to make it to the hospital in time due to rocky terrain, she delivered twins at her home. "Before they could get the palanquin ready, she went into labor and delivered twins, who were stillborn," district civil surgeon Dr. Sanjay Bodade told TOI.
'The prematurely-born twins were weak and died in front of their mother due to lack of proper medical attention,' NDTV reported. Reportedly, the newborns developed difficulty in breathing and were put on the makeshift stretcher to be transported down. However, the babies passed away mid-way and the villagers returned home with them, as per a local activist. Soon, Budhar's health started deteriorating.
With the help of an Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) worker, a bleeding Budhar was placed in a palanquin and brought down three kilometers through hilly terrains. Her husband Yashwant and a local man carried her downhill amid heavy rains and on slippery rocks. Once they reached the main road, Budhar was placed inside an ambulance and taken to the nearest hospital.
Social workers in the area said that even though the country was preparing to celebrate its 75th year of Independence, their villages still don't have roads. "Five dozen families of 250 members in the village suffer due to lack of roads even after 75 years of Independence," social worker Tukaram Pawar told Mid-day. Residents here have often carried pregnant women on makeshift stretchers.
"The ambulance was waiting for her about 4 km away...Tribal women do not take rest during pregnancy. It is a case of pre-term delivery. The labor could have precipitated due to physical work," Dr.Budade told the media. While Budhar was discharged from the hospital soon, no medical officer visited her as they were "busy in Independence Day preparations."
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state vice-president Chitra Kishor Wagh described the incident as "very painful." She tweeted, "Budhar's twin children died due to non-availability of health care in time" and said that many such incidents are taking place due to a lack of roads. BJP national secretary Pankaja Munde said that the incident was very unfortunate. "The poor are still facing hardships," he added.