Maharashtra: Woman and her newborn kid die as the only ambulance in the area reached two hours late due to COVID-19 duty

In a terrible incident, a pregnant tribal from a village in Mokhada, Palghar district in Maharashtra died along with her newborn due to a two-hour delay in the arrival of an ambulance.

According to the reports, the 25-year-old Manisha Dhore, a resident of Amle village, was seven months pregnant and went into labour on Tuesday evening. Soon, the local health worker Mangala Vare called 108 requesting an ambulance to pick the pregnant lady. The villagers too joined hands with the health workers to carry Manisha with a bedsheet and walked three km to reach the main road.

The ambulance arrived over two hours later and carried her to a Khodala primary health centre (PHC). As she was bleeding profusely, Manisha was shifted to Nashik civil hospital, around 58km from Mokhada.

The doctors performed a C-section but could not save the newborn baby boy. Manisha, who had suffered severe blood loss, died around 6.30 am on Thursday. Her husband Sanya blamed the delay in the arrival of the ambulance for his wife and newborn’s death. It was their first child, he said adding that by the time the ambulance arrived Manisha had lost a lot of blood and was lying on Khodala-Wada road.

Only one Ambulance was available, dispatched to COVID-duty

Health officer of Khodala PHC Dr Sagar Mukne said the ambulance had gone on Covid duty and hence got delayed. He said the ambulance assigned to Mokhada town was not working, and district health officers were informed.

District health officer Dr Dayanand Suryavanshi said that the delay occurred as there was only one ambulance available in the town, that was already on Covid-19 duty at a Vikramgad facility, around 50km from Mokhada in Jawhar taluka of Palghar district. He said a standby ambulance is being made available at primary health centres in the district following the tragic death.

Dr Suryavanshi said Manisha was underweight and was also suffering from low blood pressure. As advised by PHC doctors, Manisha and her husband had moved to Nashik as they expected delivery complications. The couple had returned to their village for Diwali when she went into labour.

Pandurang Vare, who lives in the same village as Manisha said that the village had 62 houses and a population of 322, lacked basic healthcare facilities. He said only in the last few years the village got a bridge and earlier during monsoon, pregnant women were transported on make-shift stretchers.

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