Basanti died an hour after a caesarian delivery, and her husband Krishna blames the hospital. “I was in Kuwait when I heard my wife and baby died. I could not get leave, so I quit my job and bought my own ticket to fly home,” he says.
Rupchandra Biswokarma, the physician in charge of Bajura District Hospital said Basanti could have been saved if the facility had an Intensive Care Unit and an ultrasound machine. The hospital carried out 300 deliveries last year, with 15 caesarians.
“Most mothers brought here are in their last stages,” says Biswokarma, “First, they try to give birth at home, if they cannot they go to the nearest health post, and are referred to us. Forget about a well-equipped maternal ward, and ICU or a gynaecologist, we don’t even have a skilled birth attendant or trained doctor here. Actually, God is saving new mothers here, not us”
Pandusain Health Post is a busy place, delivering up to 15 babies a month. It has neither an ultrasound machine not a skilled birth attendant for ante-natal checkups.
Basanti Bohora, 29, a new mother with a one month old baby, had experienced terrible labour pain. She first went to Pandusain Health Post but the health worker asked them to go to the district hospital which is 4 hours drive away on a very bad road. The Nurse there told them to go to Bayalpata Hospital in Accham that is run by the non-profit Nyaya Health.
“All along the way I thought I would die, it is a miracle that both me and the baby are alive today,” she says, playing with her baby boy.
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Even after a childbirth, many new mothers and their children in lack of proper diet suffer from complications. 25-year-old Batu Chadara, from Dandabasa village, Pandusen was nine months pregnant and was going to return a rooster she had borrowed to impregnate a hen she had at her house. It is to be the main source of nutrition for her and her baby after the delivery.