Woman Refused Medical Care, Gives Birth to Dead Child by the Road

Dandupur village, Taarun Block, Faizabad District. On the night of 17 April, a woman was forced to give birth to her child by the roadside after being refused help from health workers in Taarun. Archana, was with her family and was walking to make arrangements to reach the district hospital when the incident occurred. Unfortunately, the baby that was born, died a short while later.

Archana’s mother-in-law Champa spoke to us and related the episode. She said that their village Asha worker came to fetch her and Archana at 2 a.m. on the night if 17 April to take them to the Community Health Centre in Taarun for Archana’s delivery. Even though there is a direct route to reach Archana’s house, the ambulance stopped some way off and Archana and Champa had to walk to the ambulance. On reaching the CHC, the Asha worker Sushila demanded 50 rupees from them, even though the 108 ambulance service is supposed to be free of cost for pregnant women.

The A.N.M. at the Community Health Centre, Durgawati told them that there were complications in Archana’s case and referred her to the district hospital in Faizabad which is approximately 30 kilometres away. When Archana and Champa expressed concern over travelling to Faizabad at that hour, she asked them for 3000 rupees because the child could be delivered only by operating on Archana. She gurther told them that if they don’t pay her and seek help from a private doctor it would only mean a bigger price for them because private practitioners charge about 10000 rupees for such cases. Furthermore, when Archana and Champa requested the CHC authorities to arrange an ambulance to take them to the district hospital, their request was rejected.

When Archana and Champa started walking, some time later Archana gave birth to a child near Nahri Purwagaon in Taarun block. A few women from the nearby village came to help but a short while later, the child passed away due to lack of proper medical care. When information reached him, a doctor at the Vineet Vinayak Private Hospital in Taarun admitted Archana to their health centre.

When we spoke to the A.N.M. Durgawati, she said that the case was complicated and Archana had been referred by Dr. Ved Tripathi at the CHC in Taarun. She said there were written records available for this. The Asha worker Susheela rubbished allegations of her asking for money and said that Archana and Champa were lying. The doctor-in-charge at the CHC in Taarun, Dr. Ansaar Ali washed his hands off of any responsibility and said that the case was complicated and could not have been handled at the CHC. As per the situation, they referred the case to the district hospital. What happened on the way is not something that he knows or can take responsibility for.

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