Ananya Padhihary

In another case of alleged discrimination to HIV patients in Odisha, an HIV-positive pregnant woman was allegedly denied treatment at Kudumulugumma Community Health Centre (CHC) in Malkangiri district on Monday.

According to reports, the pregnant woman was rushed to CHC in Kudulumugumma after she complaint severe labour pain. But she was allegedly denied treatment by the hospital staff there, after learning that she is HIV positive. Afterward, the staff referred her to the District Headquarters Hospital but ignored her husband’s request for an ambulance to transport her.

After being turned away, the woman was allegedly carried on a bike by her husband to their home where she gave birth to a girl child.

“I requested them repeatedly to treat my wife, but the doctors and staff told me that they would not treat her there because of the HIV infection. They then asked me to take her to the District Headquarters Hospital. I requested them to provide an ambulance to transport her which they denied too.” the husband alleged. 

He further stated that he inquired if they could come back for treatment after the child was born, to which the staff said that they would have to go to the district hospital instead.

“When the staff refused admission, claiming that they lacked the necessary facility to treat the HIV-positive pregnant woman, I asked the family whether they wanted to transport her to the district hospital. However, a family member stated that they do not have sufficient money to do so. They also claimed that they were discriminated during the delivery of their first child too.” said Sumitra Mohanty, an ASHA worker who accompanied them.

Meanwhile the Chief District Medical Officer of Malkanagiri, Dr Prafulla Nanda said,” We will initiate a probe into the matter and take necessary action against the doctors and staffs if found guilty.”