RAYAGADA: The 102 ambulance service seems to be of little help for pregnant women in interior pockets of the State. Sunita Bhatriya of Palakhamana village under Kalyansinghpur block of Rayagada district had to deliver in a van as 102 ambulance did not respond to calls by her family members on Thursday morning. Her husband, Chitta Bhatriya, also called up 108 ambulance service when Sunita experienced labour pain, but even that did not respond. He then hired a private van to take her to Kalyansinghpur Community Health Centre (CHC), but Sunita delivered mid-way. She was later shifted to the CHC. The condition of both the mother and the child is safe.
Collector Guha Punam Tapas Kumar and Chief District Medical Officer Anand Padhi rushed to the CHC to take stock of the situation.
Padhi said stringent action will be taken against the emergency service providers if they are found guilty.
A similar incident had occurred in the area earlier this month. On August 5, a woman, Hikaka Kundunji (30), who was in labour, had to be carried on a bicycle for 1 km by her husband till a four-wheeler driver offered to shift her in his vehicle to Kalyansinghpur CHC.
Hikaka belongs to Bariguda village of Singari panchayat of the district and from her village, the nearest Kalyansinghpur CHC is 6 km. When she went into labour, her husband Sarabu called up 102 and 108 ambulance services with the help of an ASHA worker, Manuabati Kurudia. They waited for more than one hour for either of the ambulances to arrive, but none turned up. As the labour pain increased, Sarabu decided to shift his wife to the CHC on his cycle with the help of the ASHA worker.
After traversing 1 km when the pain became acute, they made her lie down on the road. In the meantime, a four-wheeler was passing through the stretch and the driver agreed to shift Hikaka to the CHC, where she delivered a baby boy.
Additional District Magistrate Laxmikant Behera said besides absence of road communication, lack of telecommunication facility and language issues deprive villagers of 108 and 102 ambulance services. At present, the district has ten 108 ambulances and nine more will be added to the fleet within two months.
Apparently, three such cases have already been reported earlier this year. On February 17, a pregnant woman, Tara Mandangi (20) of Kishari village under Kolnara block, hired a private vehicle when 108 and 102 ambulances did not turn up to shift her to a hospital even after five-hour wait. In acute labour pain, she managed to reach the nearest hospital and deliver a healthy child. A week later, Aalme Hikaka (32) of Tentulipadar village under Kalyansinghpur block and her unborn child died after failing to get help from ambulance service.
On March 13, Mammy Kausalya (21), who was into labour, too failed to get ambulance help even after contacting them. She was shifted to Kalyansinghpur CHC on a cot by her husband and relatives.
The technical process to avail the service and language spoken by the control room staff are the other major hindrances for the tribals in availing the services, sources said.