A woman in Bareilly's Meerganj locality delivered a baby in a horse cart on Sunday due to the lack of availability of an ambulance. According to a report in the Times Of India, Premawati could not get access to an ambulance because of a strike by ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers, who are meant to provide assistance in such cases.
"An ASHA worker normally accompanies a woman in labour for facilitating the delivery at the hospital," Dr Amit Kumar, in-charge at Community Health Centre, Meerganj told TOI. "But on Sunday, ASHA workers were on strike. Hence, the family could not access ambulance services which would have been available by dialling 102/108. The woman was given due medical care during the delivery, and both the newborn and the mother are in stable condition."
"In the absence of an ambulance, we put her in a horse cart after she complained of pain at 5 AM" Shanti, Premawati's sister, said. "On reaching the hospital, we learned that ASHA workers were on strike, but the hospital staff was available. As there was no time to shift the woman into the hospital, the delivery of the baby was carried out in the cart itself by the hospital staff."
Indu Shree Gangwar, district president of ASHA workers' association, however blamed the hospital for the horse-cart delivery. "It is possible that the hospital didn't attend to the ambulance request by the family," she was quoted as saying.
Gangwar also blamed the district administration for not attending to ASHA workers demands for a wage hike and regularisation of their services.
Also on HuffPost India.