Mrunal Manmay Dash

Exposing the lapses in healthcare in Odisha, a divyang woman, Swarnalata Sahu from Khordha’s Jatni was allegedly given pregnancy care for eight months only to be found out that she carried a tumour in her stomach.

Sahu had come to the Jatni hospital eight months back complaining of stomach pain. After carrying out some tests, the doctor allegedly diagnosed her as one month pregnant.

the diagnosis, Sahu was reportedly advised by the doctor at the Jatni hospital to start her pregnancy diet with regular doses of calcium, iron and related pregnancy vaccines. She continued her pregnancy care for eight months with the help of the local Anganwadi and ASHA workers.

However, Sahu’s pain worsened and her husband decided to take her to a private hospital for second opinion. An ultrasound imaging was conducted on her and it was revealed that she has been carrying a tumour in her stomach for all those eight months and not a baby.

Her husband, Kabindra Sahu said, “My wife was under the supervision of anganwadi workers and the doctor all the time. I do not know what they were doing. I am very poor. I do not have money to treat my wife's tumour.”

The government hospital in Jatni even gave her a maternity card on which all her details were registered including the expected date of delivery, i,e. May 28, 2023.

The husband and mother of the hapless woman have demanded free treatment from the government accusing the doctor and Anganwadi workers of negligence.

“ASHA and Anganwadi workers took her to the hospital for treatment eight months back. How could the doctor not know that my daughter is not pregnant? I am sure the medicines she was prescribed made the tumour in the stomach grow even bigger,” alleged her mother, Tikina Sahu.

Asked about the incident, the Superintendent of Jatani hospital, Dr Jitendra Kumar Panda said, “She was advised to eat Chatua, eggs, calcium tablets and iron capsules. These do not have any adverse effect on anybody. We are currently conducting an enquiry based on the complaints of Sahu’s family. We will take appropriate action after we get the report.”

(Reported By Balram Lenka, OTV)