In remote Goltakuri, Dang, they do not have transportation throughout the year and even drinking water is difficult to manage. But in the last 12 months, 120 pregnant women delivered their babies at the tiny sub-health post, exceeding the number of institutional deliveries at the Rapti Zonal Hospital in Tulsipur.
“This is because we are experienced and people have immense trust in us,” says Kaushila KC, a maternal and child health cadre at Goltakuri. Relentless campaigning for infants’ health has also increased the number of attendees at vaccination camps.
Every year, almost 200 women give birth at the sub health post in Goltakuri. Complicated cases are referred to private hospitals that are better facilitated.
Women who give birth at health posts are given a ‘golden bag’ which consists of two sets of clothes for the baby, one for the mother, and a mosquito net. They are also given travel expenses up to Rs 500 and other token financial incentives to come for routine checkups.
Laxmi Chaudhari, a local who brought her daughter-in-law to give birth at the health post, says villagers are satisfied with the service but laments how the government remains far and inaccessible, particularly when it comes to addressing problems faced by the residents of Goltakuri.
We don’t have enough equipment here – there’s only one bed. So we can’t have as many deliveries as we’d like,” says ANM Yamkala Budhathoki, before returning to give saline water to a patient.
The District Public Health Office in headquarters Ghorahi has plans to upgrade facilities at Goltakuri SHP. DPHO Chief Keshab Raj Pandit says he wants to contract more health workers at Goltakuri, so that the 24-hour maternal services there can be better implemented. KC and Budhathoki have also been requesting for funds to build more buildings because the current SHP offices are small and cramped.