At a time the health machinery is overburdened fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, a doctor in Telangana’s Mahabubabad district helped an expecting mother by himself driving around 70 km to make her reach the primary healthcare centre and delivered the baby safely.
On late Tuesday evening, Gatti Manjula, 28, a Koya tribal woman from Kolaram village in Mahabubabad district, had developed labour pains and a premature rupture of membrane meant that the delivery could happen any moment. Kolaram being one of the most remote villages in the district, the nearest primary healthcare centre (PHC) was around 20 km away and no ambulance was available.
On learning about the case, medical officer Dr Mohammed Mukram drove through the forests and shifted the expectant mother to the PHC in his car with the help of an ASHA worker and ensured a safe institutional delivery.
This child was born yesterday night in the remotest PHC of our district (Gangaram)in Agency area. Medical officer Dr.mukram brought the expectant mother in his own car and conducted the delivery
Such heroic stories inspire us in these tough moments pic.twitter.com/SmibxZq88d
— Collector Mahabubabad (@Collector_MBD) May 13, 2020
On Tuesday evening, Dr Mukaram was preparing to leave for home at around 7.30 when he received a call from ASHA worker Padma in Kolaram village. “It was an emergency case and I knew the only available ambulance had been rushed to another PHC. There was no scope for waiting for an ambulance. So I took my car to the village and shifted her to PHC. I was just doing my duty,” he said.
The doctor, 35, who has received the award for the best medical officer in 2017 and 2019, said, “All our doctors are doing a great job. In this particular case, the timely reaction was required and I did not think twice.”
Driving around 70 km up and down on the single-lane road through forests, they returned to Gangaram PHC by 9.30 pm. Gatti Manjula delivered a baby girl weighing 2.8 kg but the baby was born blue. “We had to quickly revive the baby by sucking out secretions from the lungs. This is why it was important to bring her to PHC otherwise we could have lost the baby or the mother could have developed complications,” he said.
There are 20 PHCs in Mahabubabad district and 10 of them are in tribal areas.
Mahabubabad district collector V P Gautham shared the incident on social media, lauding Dr Mukram for his responsiveness and courage in acting on the case. Speaking with the indianexpress.com, the district collector said that the number of deliveries at government hospitals has doubled compared to the previous years. “In the first 10 days of this month, we have reported around 60-65 institutional deliveries so far. Usually, it is around 30-40 deliveries for a month and now we are aiming 100 deliveries,” said the collector.
According to the collector, the poor need to reach PHCs for deliveries as they would have to spend a fortune in government hospitals otherwise. The priority is given to natural delivery unlike private hospitals where 80 per cent of deliveries are C-section, he said.
“During the Covid pandemic, everyone is busy with active surveillance or door-to-door survey. We have coupled the antenatal care cases, too, in this. We have 800 expected delivery cases every month. The DMHO and other officials regularly counsel them and I am myself speaking with five random Estimated Date of Delivery(EDD) cases every day,” the collector said.
Stating that Dr Mukaram’s act is an inspiration to all medical professionals in the frontline, the collector said the aim is to ensure that in no way the pandemic and the lockdown impacts other medical and health emergencies.
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