Village roads too bad for ambulance to come to patient’s assistance
BUDGAM: Highlighting the poor infrastructure and pathetic approach of concerned authorities in rural areas, a woman struggling in labour had to be carried for miles on her relatives’ shoulders to reach a hospital.
Naseema Begum, 32, a resident of village Gulabdaji – a forgotten hamlet on the border between Central Kashmir’s Budgam and Baramulla districts – went into labour on Thursday morning.
Her family members called Helpline number 108 for ambulance services repeatedly, but there was no response at all.
As the ambulance could not reach her home, Naseema’s relatives decided to carry her in a makeshift cradle to a nearby hospital, around four kilometres from the village.
When they reached the hospital, located in Harde-Aboora in medical block Kunzer, the family members of the pregnant lady found that the hospital gate was padlocked and there was no one available to care for her.
“As the pain intensified, we became more anxious and called the local paramedical staff, who later provided an ambulance to ferry her to Srinagar,” a relative said.
“This is the worst ordeal we had ever gone through. Walking on snow-accumulated roads with a patient writhing in pain on our shoulders was the worst-ever state,” he continued.
“Our area is hilly, and we were left with no option but to shoulder her to Harde-Aboora hospital. It took us nearly an hour to travel 4 km,” Naseema’s nephew, Muzaffar Ahmad said.
Irshad Ahmad, another relative of the lady, said that they bore his aunt on their shoulders to ferry her to the PHC and called the one-hour journey in the snow-accumulated roads “one of the painful things I have ever witnessed in my life”.
“The link road leading to our village is in shambles and is covered with big potholes. It is not only hilly but has big curves. It was macadamized 20 years ago and is now making people are really suffer. Our roads are still not motorable in the modern era,” he said.
Ahmad said there were no primary health care facilities in their area and patients were compelled to travel long distances to reach PHC Poshker or Harde-Aboora for minor ailments.
“We have been left on god’s mercy by the authorities concerned. Neither politicians not district administration bothers to visit this deprived area,” he lamented and added, “Ours is the area with no sub-health centre. People with any kind of ailment are the worst sufferers in the area.”
Altaf Ahmad Bhat, a local resident, censured the administration for not clearing snow from the arterial roads of their village which, according to him, was one of the reasons that the ambulance could not be deputed here.
“These incidents illustrate how our authorities have failed to provide basic facilities to people in the remote parts of our district. Citizens who face medical emergencies have no other option but to carry their patients on their shoulders,” village Nambardar Altaf Ahmad Bhat remarked.
Later, the woman was admitted to the tertiary hospital SKIMS Bemina, where she delivered a baby girl.
Meanwhile, Sub-district Magistrate Tangmarg Shabir-ul-Hassan could not be contacted for comment.