Madhya Pradesh: No river bridge or road connectivity forces women in Birlai village for childbirth at home

Kukshi: Even after the state government making tall promises of providing good health care in rural areas, lack of road connectivity in the remote areas is still a matter of concern for villagers of Birlai village in Kukshi tehsil of Dhar district.

With no road connectivity and river bridge, residents of the village here have to wade across the Kukshi river carrying patients on a cot on their shoulders to take it to a hospital.

Villagers claimed that the river which is flowing on the outskirt of their village remains full of water throughout the year and even Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) workers of the health department have to cross it to reach their doorstep and in case of any emergency, they have to carry patient on their shoulder.

“During summer or winter, we could somehow manage to cross the river, but it is impossible to cross the river during monsoon season. Generally, the water is knee-deep in the river. To reach the main road, the river needs to be crossed”, villagers said.

Villagers claimed that many women fear the discomfort and pain they feel when they are carried to the hospital in a sling. Living in hilly terrains that lack easy access to medical facilities, they prefer to give birth at home.

Block medical officer of civil hospital Dr Abhishek Rawat admitted that the lack of connectivity in remote areas forced villagers to opt for non-institutional deliveries as most of the time either ambulance or Janani Suraksha vehicle failed to reach village or family members of expecting mother failed to take her to the hospital. This leads to complications at most of the time.

Dr Rawat further added that even for vaccinations, they have to carry their stuff on heads and cross the river, to get the children and infants vaccinated.

Dr Rawat said that despite of the hazards, the workers of the health department of Birlai village, Patelpura, are incessantly rendering their duties. During the rainy season, they use alternative arrangements, and reach villages to fulfill their duties.

Administration should understand the inconvenience of villagers and construct a bridge, so that the life of the villagers and health workers become easy, a villager said.

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