The government makes tall claims about safe and institutionalised child birth, however, the poor condition of government ‘delivery centres’ reveal a different reality: one that makes you cringe.
Childbirth by Candlelight
In Ambedkarnagar district, there is no electricity, or provision for it, in many delivery points. Katehri block’s Community Health Centre has a generator which has not had diesel in it for the past year. In the subcentres in Aami village (Bhiti block), Aama and Rampur Banethu village (Katehri block), there is no electricity connection. If there is a baby to be delivered at night, the Auxillary Nurse Midwife (ANM) has to make her own arrangements, either candles, mobile phones, or ’emergency’ lights.
In the office of the Chief Medical Officer of Ambedkarnagar, the chief engineer said that of an eight lakh budget for the subcentre, 25,000 is for arranging electricity. If the subcentre is far from the village, or the village nearby has no electricity, this budget falls short. Whenever the nearby areas are electrified, these subcentres will also get electricity.
Adequate meals not available
Women in delivery centres are meant to be admitted for 48 hours after child birth. The hospital is meant to provide food and medicines to them during this period. Khabar Lahariya’s reporters spent a day at the centre in Mau block and observed that Suman from Bamuri village and Anita from Sikaura got no breakfast and just four puris and vegetables for lunch. According to the menu, women are meant to get eggs, milk, tea and bread for breakfast; and the meals include daal, rice, two different types of vegetables, six rotis and fruits.
No beds: babies delivered on the floor
The Kabrai Community Health Centre in Mahoba district has just six beds. In situations where there are more cases, women are made to deliver babies on the floor of the centre. The officer in charge Dr Ratmele, in one month, 131 babies have been delivered here. There is no surgeon, ultrasound machine and ward boy in the centre.
Read original story here