A ray of hope for expectant mothers in Maoists affected Chhattisgarh

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Bilha (Chhattisgarh), Aug.18 (ANI): An ambulance service has come as a boon for expectant mothers, especially for those in their advanced stage of pregnancy, in Chhattisgarh's Bilaspur district.

Till recently, the expectant mothers and other family members remained a worried lot since commuting to the nearest primary health centre (PHC) or the district hospital involved a big risk of life and safety in this Maoist-affected region.

Thanks to the initiative of the State government, now such fears are allayed with the introduction of an ambulance service exclusively for expectant mothers and it is named 'Matahari Express'.

Officials of the Bilaspur district said that the objective of launching the 'Matahari Express' was to reduce the MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate) and IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) in the village.

"Our main intention is to reduce the MMR and IMR rate and to encourage women to deliver in the primary health care services centre. We have till now received a very good response. The initiative is getting along with private partnership. We have the ambulance available 24 hours," noted Sonmani Bora, district official, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.

No wonder, the 'Matahari Express' service has become a boon for the families residing in the interiors and isolated villages.

In Bilha Village, this van has rendered a life-saving mission by rushing the would-be mother to the nearest hospital or doctor at the earliest for a safe child delivery.

"With this service we do not have to worry anymore," said Kaushala Bai, a local resident.

Under the Mother Care Scheme, a rural woman delivering her child at a primary or community health centre gets an amount of rupees 1,400. She is also entitled for 250 rupees to supplement her diet.

"Because of the transport problem, the women could not come to the hospital but now with this service. We have also publicised the phone number through which the people can avail the service," said Dr. Surendra Pambhoi, Block Medical Officer in-charge of Bilha village.

The van has a trained staff of paramedics including those conversant with pre-natal and pro-natal care.

In Sanskrit or Hindi, 'Mata' means mother and 'Hari' stands for divine entity. By Shiv Shankar Sarthi (ANI)

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