Valley News Desk

Govt directs DC Anantnag, CMO, after GK report highlights inadequate facilities for expecting mothers

Khalid Gul

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has asked the district administration and health authorities here to make Bijbehara hospital fully functional for COVID positive pregnant woman, after taking cognizance of a story published by Greater Kashmir about shortage of facilities at the hospital.

“The chair directed to make COVID hospital at Bijbehara (Emergency and Trauma hospital) fully functional including the conduction of LSC and other surgeries to a pregnant woman” reads minutes of the meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir), to take stock of facilities at the hospital.

The directions were passed after Greater Kashmir published a report, titled, “In Anantnag, COVID positive Pregnant women continue to suffer”, on July 24. The report was part of the agenda for the meeting chaired by the Divisional Commissioner on August 11. The minutes of the meeting were issued today.

An official said during the meeting, directions were passed to Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to ensure availability of the facilities for the pregnant women.

The district administration had in June taken over 20-bedded John Bishop Memorial (JBM) hospital at Sarnal locality of the town for the conduct of surgeries and treatment of COVID19 pregnant women.

The move was aimed at avoiding unnecessary referrals to tertiary care hospitals and delay in the treatment of expecting mothers who were COVID positive.

However, a month later the facility was closed. The staff for the facility was to be provided by Principal GMC Anantnag in consultation with Medical Superintendent Maternity and Child Care Hospital (MCCH) Anantnag. Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Anantnag was also asked to take over the facility for its efficient utilization.

However, even after passing of one-and-half months only one COVID positive pregnant woman was referred there for the deliver prompting the district administration to wind up the facility.

The administration had procured all safety equipment for the facility and was bearing expenses of diet, drugs and transport, consumables and was even salary of JBM hospital staff.

The medics had questioned the need for taking over the private hospital, and then closing it down.

The MCCH Anantnag had been in news after death of three pregnant women soon after the outbreak of a pandemic.

35-year-old Ruqaya, wife of Javed Ahmad from Kharpora-Larnoo, village in Kokernag died at the MCCH after delivering stillborn twins.

Her body had been handed over to the family for last rites in violation of the COVID protocols and a day later her sample had returned positive for coronavirus.

Another pregnant woman Shakeela, 30, wife of Zahoor Ahmad from Salia village died due to alleged delay in her treatment at SDH Seer.

She was declared bought dead at the MCCH Anantnag. A video also went viral on social media wherein wailing family members were seen carrying her body on a stretcher.

Masrat Jan, wife of Riyaz Ahmad of remote Dulat Abad, Manzmoo village of Qazigund died at the MCCH as she could not make it to hospital in time amid lockdown. She had delivered a stillborn at her home only.(GK)

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