Most women in rural Nepal still have no access to essential antenatal care during their pregnancy, resulting in grave complications at childbirth.
“Her husband will most likely remarry now that she can’t get pregnant,” says a neighbour matter-of-factly.
After she started getting contractions in her latest pregnancy in August, the neighbours carried her downhill for half-an-hour before they found a bus that could take her to Bayalpata Hospital. She was critical by the time she arrived at emergency, with dangerously low blood pressure.
Her uterus had ruptured, and she had severe internal bleeding. The baby was in a transverse position with one of its hands sticking out of the cervix, already dead.
The surgery took four hours, but Bayalpata’s doctors managed to save Dhiru Bista’s life. Fearing complications, the hospital referred her to the ICU in the district hospital in Dadeldhura, seven hours away. She was discharged five days later.
Surgeons at Bayalpata said that this was one of the toughest maternity cases they have operated on. There have been 320 deliveries since the Covid-19 induced lockdown in April 2020, and all of them have been performed free of cost.
Bayalpata is run as a public-private partnership by Nyaya Health Nepal (NHN) with support from the Far-West Province, Sanfebagar Muncipality, and international funding.