Bombay HC expresses concern over tribal woman losing infant twins as road to medical facility not available
It was hearing PILs filed in the year 2006 highlighting the high numbers of deaths of children, pregnant women and lactating mothers due to malnutrition in the Melghat region of east Maharashtra.
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday expressed concern over the incident in Maharashtra's Palghar district wherein a tribal woman lost twins after delivery as she could not reach a health centre in time in the absence of a proper road.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs) filed in the year 2006 highlighting the high numbers of deaths of children, pregnant women and lactating mothers due to malnutrition in the Melghat region of east Maharashtra.
On Monday, a 26-year-old tribal woman from Mokhada in Palghar district, 155 km from Mumbai, had to be carried in a makeshift stretcher to a medical centre.
The woman, who was seven months pregnant, went into labour prematurely.
She was later brought to the Khodala PHC (public health centre) in an ambulance from the main road.
She gave birth to stillborn twins.
On Wednesday, the bench noted that it was concerned about the fact that the number of deaths of children, pregnant women and cases of stillbirths is not decreasing.
"We read in newspapers today about the Palghar incident. The woman was taken to the hospital in a makeshift 'Palki' (stretcher) and by the time she reached the hospital the babies were dead," Chief Justice Datta said.
"This is in Palghar. We have been hearing this matter since the year 2006 and now we are in 2022. It has been 16 years. This court has been passing directions from time to time," he added.
One of the petitioners, Bandya Sane, told the high court that in tribal regions, basic medical facilities are still not available.
He added that doctors who are appointed by the government to serve in these areas do not report to duty.
Government pleader P P Kakade told the high court that if doctors do not report to the areas assigned to them then a notice would be issued to them.
And if they fail to respond, the doctors will be removed from service.
The bench posted the matter for further hearing on September 12.