123 pregnant and postnatal women of remote areas airlifted during lockdown

Who gets the airlifting service? How to get it?

Sabina Karki

August 15, 2020


123 pregnant and postnatal women of remote areas airlifted during lockdown

KATHMANDU: Pasang Lama of Paanchkhal Thangpal-6 suffered from labor pain on Thursday. When she was not able to deliver a child, both the lives of the mother and the infant were at stake.

One of the village elders contacted the President Women Uplift Program’s Hotline telephone number and reported the case.

A chopper instantly dashed from Kathmandu to Sindhupalchowk and rushed her to the Thapathali-based Paropakar Maternity Hospital. She delivered her child safely.

Phulmaya Sunar of Dhawalgiri Rural Municipality in Myagdi started suffering from labor pain. When the local Health Post made it clear that they could not help much in her case, the 23-year-old Sunar was rushed to Paschimanchal Regional Hospital Pokhara via chopper.

All the domestic and international flights are stalled to abide by the coronavirus pandemic induced lockdown enforced in the country. Even road transportation is suspended since the last week of March.

The number of coronavirus cases is increasing day by day. Dreading they may succumb to the pandemic transmission, many people are not open enough to share their delivery-related risks they are subject to.

However, under the President Women Uplift Program (PWUP) run by the Ministry for Women, Children and Senior Citizens, the postnatal and laboring women of 34 districts have been rescued via choppers since the enforcement of lockdown on March 24.

Anju Dhungana, the chief of the coordination unit o PWUP told Khabarhub that the Unit has airlifted 35 women since the enforcement of lockdown on March 24.

“We airlifted 25 women during the lockdown period,” she said adding, “10 more have been air rescued in between July 16 to August 13.”

She informed that the rescue of the laboring and postnatal mother was remarkably effective during the lockdown period.

“The program has been effective from the day it was introduced, but it was remarkably effective during the lockdown period,” Dhungana said, “It became very useful during lockdown because there were no other means of transportation available during the period.”

She informed that the program was meant for the women of Himalayan and high hill parts which are still not connected to the road network.

The program was started by airlifting Nira Shahi, 22, of Chankheli Rural Municipality, Humla on December 21, 2018.

According to Dhungana, as many as 123 women of the rural areas have already been rescued by air since the program was introduced.

The Ministry has assigned at least one hospital each from all 7 provinces of the country for the treatment of the women airlifted under this program.

Koshi Zonal Hospital – Province 1, Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital- Province 2, Paropakar Maternity Hosptial- Bagmati Province, Western Regional Hospital Pokhara- Gandaki Province, Lumbini Zonal Hospital, Butwal, and Bheri Zonal Hospital Banke – Province 5 are the hospitals assigned for the treatment of the delivering women airlifted from various parts of the country.

Likewise, Karnali Health Science Academy and Mid-Western Regional Hospital Surkhet in Karnali Province and Seti Provincial Hospital of Sudur Paschim Province are also assigned to provide services to such airlifted women.

Dhungana informed that despite assigning various hospitals, provided the condition of the patient is found too critical or the province hospitals inform they are not able to provide the desired service, the patients are brought to Paropakar Maternity Hospital, Thapathali, Kathmandu.

According to her, the PWUP has been launched fully in the remote areas of Darchula, Baitadi, Mugu, Doti, Achham, Jajarkot, Dailekh, Kalikot, Jumla, Humla, Myagdi, Taplejung, Rasuwa, Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Paanchthar, Tehrathum, Khotang, Okhaldhunga and Solukhumbu districts.

Likewise, the Himalayan and hilly regions of Dolakha, Manang, Rolpa, Salyan, Rukum East, and Rukum West are also made part of the program so that the delivering mothers of those areas can be spared from maternity death.

However, Paanchpokhari Thampalthap, Helambu and Jugal rural municipalities of Sindhupalchowk, Ruby Valley Rural Municipality of Dhading, Sulikot, Arughat, Siranchowk, Gandaki, Ajirkot, Dharche, Chumanbri rural municipalities of Gorkha and Dhorpatan, Jamuni, Galkot Municipalities and Badhigad, Nisikhola, Bareng, Tara Khola, Kannthe Khola and Tamankhola Rural Municipalities of Baglung district are partially covered in the program.

Who is entitled to this service

The woman undergoing severe pelvic pain and lying critically due to the inability to deliver the child despite the pain or the woman whose child has died in the womb is rescued giving priority under this program.

Similarly, the woman whose body is swelling abnormally during the pregnancy period or the woman who has got excessive postnatal bleeding and other women recommended by the local level health agency as their treatment is not possible locally also becomes eligible for such service.

How to take the service?

Whenever such emergencies occur the person or group who knows pretty well about the case and the risk should first inform the Chief District Officer of the concerned district and should request to facilitate the air rescue service.

While doing so a copy of the citizenship’s photocopy and the recommendation from the local health organization is the most. One can also contact at 9551255254, the hotline telephone number meant for air rescue of the people.