Published: Friday, April 5, 2013

Maternity centre that closes door to a mother

A woman gave birth under the open sky on the premises of Panchagarh Auditorium on Tuesday night, after failing to get service at Panchagarh Ma O Shishu Kalyan Kendra (maternity).
The same night, locals besieged the maternity demanding punishment of the on-duty doctors and nurses.
As Pervin Akhter, of Bodapara village in Panchagarh Sadar upazila felt labour pain, her husband Russel, a van puller, brought her to Panchagarh maternity centre at about 8:00pm, said witnesses and police.
Finding the gate under lock and key, they kept waiting on the maternity compound and Pervin’s mother-in-law made failed attempts to get help from the health visitors who stayed on the same compound.
At around 10:00pm, Rasel started with her for a private clinic.
But Pervin, feeling extreme labour pain, could hardly move and they stayed on the premises of Panchagarh Auditorium, adjacent to the maternity. After a while, she gave birth to a female child under the open sky. Observing the situation, a night guard of the auditorium encircled the spot with a few old banners.
Hearing the news, agitated locals gathered at the maternity and demanded punishment to the on-duty doctors and nurses.
Dr Monsur Alam, general secretary of Panchagarh BMA, came to the spot and arranged bringing the mother and the newborn to Panchagarh Sadar Hospital.
Pervin Akhter’s mother-in-law Tanzina Khatun told the reporters, “We went to the maternity for Pervin’s safe delivery. Seeing the gate locked, we called out repeatedly but nobody responded. We went to the quarter of health visitor Khadiza Begum on the same compound but she declined to come, saying that she was not on duty then. Another health visitor Sufia Begum, who was on duty at the night, was taking tea at the house but she also turned down our request to come to help. ”
Asked about the matter, health visitor Sufia Begum said, “We could not provide any service to the deliver patient as the night guard went to take meal after locking the gate.”
Rabiul Islam, night guard of the maternity, said, “After evening we close the gate to prevent possible intrusion by drug addicts and thieves. I was on the compound but health visitors did not ask me to open the gate. Now they blamed me to save themselves.”
Physician of the maternity centre Dr Md Mazed Ali Sheikh told this correspondent over cell phone, “If such emergency patient comes, heath visitors arrange their admission and call us. But nobody informed me of the matter.”
Dr Mizanur Rahman, deputy director of family planning directorate in Panchagarh, said, “The incident is sorrowful. After investigation we will take action against those who neglected duty.”