Kathmandu, Jan 10: The government has provided free air service to 304 pregnant and post-partum women since it started the President Woman Upliftment Programme in the fiscal year 2075/76 BS.
In the fiscal year, 2075/76, 26 pregnant women were airlifted, 87 in the fiscal year 2076/77, 103 lives of pregnant women were saved in the fiscal year 2077/78 and 88 lives of pregnant women at risk are saved in the current fiscal year so far.
According to Goma Devi Dhakal, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Woman, Children and Senior Citizen, also, the chief of the President Woman Uplifting Program, as a result, of the coordination from all levels, they were being able to reach out to 304 women in rural areas of the country which in turn has facilitated the emergency air rescue initiation and extended the service to many women in need.
“On average 26-27 pregnant and post-partum women at risk of their lives during and after pregnancy are airlifted each month,” said Chief Dhakal, “The coordinated efforts from all levels have helped us to reach out to many numbers of women in need of rescue during complicated pregnancies, as a result, we are helping services to more number of women each in comparison to the previous years.”
She stressed that the program had been effective in protecting the citizen’s constitutional right to safe motherhood and reproductive health.
Process of Air Rescue Service
Umesh Dhungana, Spokesperson to the MoWCSC said, “If any complication in pregnancy is observed then the health office writes the recommendation letter to the office of the Chief District Officer (CDO), and CDO coordinates with us and we make provision for air rescue the service.”
He added that helicopters from Nepal Army or private helicopters are used in the process of air rescue and the payment is done under the President Woman Uplifting Program.
According to him, after receiving a call from the CDO of the respective district about the need for immediate air rescue to the pregnant and postpartum women, then, an aeroplane is hired, then a nine-member Air Rescue Coordination Committee led by the chief of the Women Empowerment Division of the MoWCSC who leads the rescue case.
The women are airlifted to the nearest hospital where necessary medical services are available. At least two family members or caretakers of the patient are also allowed to accompany the patient for support during the rescue operation.
The rescued women are taken to hospitals that operate the ‘Safe Motherhood’ scheme, namely Koshi Hospital in Biratnagar, Gajendra Narayan Singh Hospital in Rajbiraj, Janakpur Regional Hospital in Janakpur, Narayani Hospital in Birgunj, Paropakar Maternity Hospital in Kathmandu, Bharatpur Hospital in Bharatpur, Gandaki Provincial Hospital in Pokhara, Lumbini Provincial Hospital in Butwal, Bheri Regional Hospital in Nepalgunj, Karnali Academy of Health Sciences in Jumla, Karnali Regional Hospital in Surkhet and Seti Regional Hospital in Dhangadhi. There they receive free treatment along with a maternity allowance.