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Birhor woman dies in ambulance wait

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By SHASHANK SHEKHAR in Bokaro
  • Published 12.05.09
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Bokaro, May 12: A 22-year-old pregnant Birhor woman died last night waiting four hours for an ambulance that never came.

The Bokaro administration claims to have been working hard for protecting the Birhors but the death of Jiramuni Devi has proved otherwise. Daughter of Sukar Birhor and Pairo Devi, Jiramuni was expecting an ambulance from Gomia hospital, about 70km from her residence in Birhor Tanda (Tulbul) village.

She waited from 4.30pm onwards and even while several villagers contacted the hospital and pleaded before the authorities to send an ambulance urgently, it was of no use. Jiramuni lost excess water and blood from her body and died around 8.30pm.

Civil surgeon of Bokaro Pramod Kumar has ordered an inquiry into the matter. Talking to The Telegraph, the civil surgeon, who visited Tulbul village to collect on-spot information, said Jiramuni was in the last stage of pregnancy.

“She was examined by a nurse, better known as an ANM (auxiliary nurse-cum-mid-wife) of the health department, six hours before her death. She was given a few medicines and during the examination, her condition was stable,” he said.

Married to Sukhdev Mahto a year ago, Jiramuni had come to her parents’ house in Tulbul, about 70km from Bokaro steel city, from her in-laws village Baragaon of Hazaribagh to deliver her first child four weeks ago.

Village chief Moti Birhor said he had contacted the doctors of Gomia hospital and had asked them to ensure treatment for the young mother, when she felt discomfort.

When the pain became unbearable, Moti contacted Gomia hospital for urgent medical attention. “The ambulance could not reach Tulbul,” the civil surgeon said.

Kumar said 10 posts have been sanctioned for doctors at Gomia hospital but not one has been posted.

“Somehow we managed to appoint four contract doctors in the Naxalite area of Gomia. I have ordered an inquiry into the matter to punish anyone found guilty,” he said.

The incident has punctured the district administration’s claims of protecting Birhors. This despite the fact that lakhs are sanctioned by the state each year exclusively for their welfare.