By Video Volunteers:
Having a baby in a remote village of eastern Bihar in India means being pregnant with anxiety and a sense of helplessness. Without access access to health infrastructure to monitor pregnancies and provisions for emergency care, it is a life threatening situation for both the mother and the unborn child . In cases of abortions, women who approach state-run health facilities are turned away due to a lack of infrastructure and are forced to approach private practitioners. Most of them cannot afford their services. Here’s one such case:
A 24-year old woman in labour was kept waiting for the doctor for 6 hours. The doctor on duty did not turn up and she delivered in the presence of a nurse. She was forced to pay INR 400 for her delivery and even, to use the toilet. She neither received free medicines nor nutrition. This is despite the provisions of the Janani Suraksha Yojana, the Indian government’s scheme to bring down maternal deaths, which makes provisions to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure for women below poverty line —providing free antenatal check ups, IFA tablets, medicines, nutrition in health institutions, provision for blood transfusion, and transport from health centres and back. Mary Nisha reports from Godda district, Jharkhand.