Very sorry state of affairs: Chhattisgarh HC on woman delivering baby on primary health centre floor

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Bilaspur, Jun 11 (PTI) The Chhattisgarh High Court has initiated suo moto proceedings after a 25-year-old woman delivered a baby on the floor of a health centre in Surguja district apparently due to absence of doctors and nurses, noting it is a very sorry state of affairs.

The HC directed the Health Department secretary to submit a personal affidavit.

A bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Sachin Singh Rajput on Monday took cognisance of a newspaper report, which stated that the incident occurred at Navanagar SHC (Sub-Health Centre) on June 8 in the absence of doctors and nurses.

The newspaper report stated that the woman, experiencing labour pains arrived at the SHC along with Mitanin (Community Health Worker). As neither a doctor nor a nurse was present, the woman was forced to deliver the baby on the floor of the health centre, the HC order stated.

The family members of the woman tried to contact the medical staff who didn't respond due to which the community health worker helped in the delivery, it said.

Even the postnatal care was taken by the traditional midwife from the village because only a Class IV employee was available at the said health centre. The aforesaid news report further goes on to state that it was not the first occasion where such an incident had happened, the bench said.

"It is a very sorry state of affairs if the aforesaid situation is prevailing at SHC, Navanagar. When the state government is incurring a huge amount of money for providing medical facilities to the public at large residing in the remotest part of the state, and authorities and the staff responsible for managing health centres are themselves absent and missing when they are needed the most, the state ought to take some stringent measures," it added.

Additional Advocate General Yashwant Singh Thakur submitted in the high court that the concerned medical officer has been suspended with immediate effect and an enquiry has been ordered.

So far as the nurse, who was on duty is reported to have met with an accident, however, no supporting documents have been filed, the order said.

The bench directed the Health and Social Welfare Department secretary to file a personal affidavit regarding the steps taken with respect to the incident and further to ensure that the video (of the incident) which has been made viral online is also stopped immediately from being circulated, the bench said.

The secretary shall also inform this court about the steps, if any, taken by him about posting any other Medical Officer at the said SHC, it added.

The incident occurred at a primary health centre in Navanagar on June 8. The next day Dr PN Rajwade, Block Medical Officer of the concerned area, was suspended for prima facie negligence. PTI COR TKP NSK

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