Pregnant woman dies for want of treatment

  • Bad weather delayed rescue by helicopter

Oct 15, 2016-A pregnant woman from Papung VDC-9 of Taplejung died as she could not be taken to hospital in time.

The condition of 40-year-old Pema Sherpa, who started suffering from labour pain from Monday, had suddenly deteriorated on Thursday. Her family had then chartered a helicopter to take her to hospital. But the helicopter could not land due to bad weather. Pema died at 1:00 am on Friday.  

As Papung VDC was blanketed by thick fog, the helicopter was unable to land, said Nupu, Pema’s uncle.   

“The helicopter made two attempts to land, but the weather condition would not allow it,” he said. “She died while the helicopter was waiting for the fog to clear out.” 

Pema is not the only woman in Papung VDC to die during pregnancy for want of timely medical assistance.

Locals said that four pregnant women in the VDC had lost their lives before Pema in last six months.

The VDC has a sub-health post, but there are no health workers.

Aitabir Sawa, who is a member of Papung Sub-health Post Management Committee, said as there are no health workers in the VDC, villagers are either forced to walk or be carried to the district headquarters, Phungling, in times of illness.

“In Pema’s case, her condition was too serious and carrying her all the way to Phungling in a stretcher was not possible,” said Sawa. 

Asked why the Papung Sub-health Post is without any health worker, Dr Bijaya Kumar Thakur, chief of the District Hospital, said the health workers appointed there had reportedly abandoned the facility following an attack by some villagers.

“That was before I was appointed the District Hospital chief,” he said.  “And since my arrival here, the people of Papung have never come to me asking for health workers for the sub-health post.”

Published: 15-10-2016 07:52

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