A pregnant woman and her unborn child died after being allegedly kicked and slapped by a nurse at a government-run hospital in Odisha’s tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj district.
Debjani Singh (25), who hailed from Kainsali village under Mayurbhanj’s Badasahi block, was allegedly kicked by the nurse and forced to sleep on the floor on Monday, claimed her sister-in-law, Astami Singh, in an FIR.
Debjani was admitted to the district hospital at the Baripada town on Sunday. However, the doctor on duty reportedly asked her to wait till Monday for the delivery. At 2 am, when Debjani went into labour, ASHA worker Vishakha Mahanta — who had accompanied her — reportedly called for a nurse. The nurse, Chanchala Das, allegedly abused Debjani for screaming in pain and asked the ASHA worker to take her to the labour room. She then got enraged over the delay and allegedly hit the pregnant woman with her chappal and also kicked her.
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On Monday, when the doctor took Debjani to the labour room, she delivered a stillborn baby and died a few hours later.
“The nurse verbally abused Debjani and me and called us uncivilised. She spread out a bedsheet and forced her to lie on the floor,” the ASHA worker said.
In the FIR lodged at the Baripada town police station, the sister-in-law of the deceased alleged that even after both the mother and the child died, the hospital staff demanded money to move the body. Tension ran high at the hospital premises as enraged family members and locals demanded action against the nurse.
Bariada sub-collector Digant Routray said the nurse had been suspended after the Mayurbhanj CDMO, Chandan Murmu, recommended it and ordered a departmental inquiry .
The incident came a few days after a newborn died after the driver of a state-run ambulance service refused to put an oxygen mask on him without being paid.
Gitanjali Sankhua, a housewife from Soro block of Balasore district, had given birth to a baby boy on September 30 at the local hospital. After he developed breathing problems, he was being taken to Cuttack’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics ,when the driver of the ambulance demanded money to provide him an oxygen mask.