Pansara Rokaya, 31, of Budhinanda municipality in Bajura on December 5 gave birth to a child on the way to a health post.
A resident of Kuru in Budhinanda-4, Rokaya had decided to seek medical assistance upon realising she was in labour. However, before she could reach the local health facility, she gave birth on the street. This is the third time that Rokaya gave birth on the road.
Fortunately, health worker Dharma Chadara met the expectant woman in the midst of labour pains and assisted her for the delivery. Chadara, the chief of basic health center, Kuru, said the new mother suffered post-partum bleeding and was subsequently taken to the health facility.
She was going to the health post unaccompanied.
Rokaya is not alone in Bajura compelled to give birth in the open. Ujjali Sunar, 32, of Kanda had a similar experience a few months ago when she delivered her daughter outdoors.
Bhagya Chadara 21, of Majhpali of Gaumul rural municipality-3, Nani Rokaya of Bandhu of Himali rural municipality-1, Parbati Budha, 23, of Natikhola of Himali-2 and Kartika BK, 35, of Muktikot of Swamikartik Khapar rural municipality-1 are those who have delivered in the open while on the way to a health facility, according to Bimala Pandey of Rugin Health Post.
In remote areas of Bajura, incidences of home births and open births are frequent.
The district reports the deaths of 12 expectant and new mothers over the past four years. The lack of regular check-ups during pregnancy, inability to reach the healthcare facilities on time are major contributors to the concerning maternity rate in Bajura, said Badimalika municipality health section Chief Tek Bahadur Khadka.
Expectant and new mothers in the remote areas often face challenges such as inadequate nutrition, insufficient rest and strenuous works, leading to fatal outcomes for some.
Despite efforts to address these issues, including the implementation of an air rescue program aimed at assisting expectant and new mothers during complications, maternal mortality rates remain high in the district.
While there is no official data on open-air births in Sudurpashim Province's Bajura district, Khadka estimates that, on average, one or two such incidents occur each month. The overall reproductive health situation for mothers in Bajura continues to be a cause for concern.