Woman delivers baby on road; 102 ambulance ignores call

Kalimela: In an incident which reflects the appalling state of affairs of the health care situation in Odisha, a woman had to deliver the baby on an embankment of a canal. The incident occurred in the far flung Kurub Village of the Kalimela block in Malkangiri district.

Picture of the woman, Bhime Padiami, sitting with her new-born baby under a tree on the embankment has put to shame all the health care programmes and schemes launched by the State government for tribal people.
One might mistake it as a panorama of the 60s and 70s, but it is the story of health care infrastructure in far flung areas of the State in this day and age.

With helplessness ringing loud in his voice, Bhime’s husband Irma Padiami said “She was complaining of pain all along the way to the hospital. It was unbearable and we could do nothing but deliver the baby on the road.”
Irma called for an ambulance repeatedly but to no avail. Left with no choice, Irma had to take her wife the hospital on the back of his bicycle. The journey to the hospital in Kalimela was a distant 8-10 KM which Irma could not complete with Bhime writhing in labour pain.

“We did call the ambulance repeatedly but there was no reply,” informed ASHA worker Basanti Padiami who was accompanying Bhime.

The 102 Ambulance did arrive, but only after 2-3 hours of the delivery. Both the infant and her mother had to lie along the side of the embankment all throughout. Fortunately, the mother and the baby who finally land in the hospital at Kalimela are now safe.

However, the whole episode has evoked strong reactions from the locals. “We strongly condemn the negligence and demand better 108 and 102 ambulance services,” said local sarpanch Mala Madi.

Though the State Health minister declined to comment on the matter, the Malkangiri Chief District Medical Officer Uday Narayan Mishra said “I have no reports till now on any such incident. If I receive any information, I will ask the Kalimela medical officer about the matter.” 102 Ambulance service is available for the help pregnant women, but I need to check what the problem was, he pointed.