Dr Punya Poudel (Chief of the Safe Motherhood Unit at the Family Welfare Division) said “the institutional delivery rate had declined across the country in the lockdown period by 50 percent in rural areas, while up to 20 percent in the cities.”
“The lockdown continued for over two and a half months amid COVID-19 menace, the number of women visiting hospitals for ante- and post-natal health check-up had dropped drastically, briefed Dr Jageshwor Gautam, outgoing Director of Paroprakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital.
Gautam (Spokesperson of Health Ministry) epitomized, “Daily around 700 women used to visit hospitals’ OPD department prior to the lockdown, but now only 300 women are visiting for check-ups. Due to the lockdown restrictions and underlying fear of the virus, pregnant women are reluctant to reach the health facilities for regular follow-ups. Apart from the ante- and post-natal care, institutional delivery had also dropped from 60-70 deliveries to 50-60 deliveries in a day, he added.
The reason behind the decline is that pregnant women are willing to give birth at home rather than coming to the hospital due to the restriction of lockdown across the country. And when they are giving birth at home, they face complications.
They are not able to reach hospitals due to limitations on transportation and of course high cost of an ambulance. They are skipping the thought of hospital is because of the spread of the virus which led even doctors (in some hospitals) not attending their patients.
As per the information doctors are not willing to operate patients because of the lack of reliable types of equipment and incentives. This whole scenario has headed to complications among pregnant women.
The scenario is not limited to the government but also the private hospitals in the country. There have been declining numbers in the number of institutional deliveries and patients seeking ante- and post-natal check-ups in both government and private hospitals.