Odisha doc car­ries woman 10km to hosp, saves life

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - HEMANT KU­MAR ROUT & DEBA PRASAD DASH @ Bhubaneswar/Malka­n­giri

DR OMKAR Hota draws no bound­aries for him­self. If Kala­handi’s Dana Ma­jhi walked 12 km car­ry­ing his dead wife on his shoul­ders last year, send­ing Odisha on a road of in­famy for its lack of sen­si­tiv­ity and com­pas­sion, this doc­tor of Malka­n­giri has re­versed the jour­ney.

On Oc­to­ber 31 (Tues­day), the doc­tor took up an ar­du­ous 10-km jour­ney on foot from Sarigeta vil­lage in Odisha’s Malka­n­giri district car­ry­ing a woman who had just given birth and was bleed­ing so pro­fusely that she was staring at sure death.

The 31-year-old doc­tor put the woman, Sub­ham Marse, on a cot, and ably helped by her hus­band, trekked for three hours through the in­hos­pitable ter­rain of Chi­trakonda block so they could reach the near­est public health cen­tre (PHC) at Pa­pu­lur.

Af­ter 18 hours of treat­ment and mon­i­tor­ing at Pa­pu­lur, the tribal woman and her new-born were de­clared out of dan­ger. They are now sta­ble.

In one of Odisha’s most back­ward districts where gov­er­nance paral­y­sis and Nax­al­ism of­ten grab head­lines, Hota’s is a heart-warm­ing story of what hu­man em­pa­thy can do.

LAST Tues­day was like any other day for Dr Hota, the in-charge med­i­cal of­fi­cer at Pa­pu­lur PHC (New) where he was at­tend­ing to pa­tients. At about 1 pm, he got a call from a vil­lager seek­ing his at­ten­dance for Sub­ham’s de­liv­ery.

He set off on a bike to Sarigeta along with his at­ten­dant Rama Pangi. Sub­ham was then in se­vere labour pain. Though Hota car­ried out the de­liv­ery at the vil­lage it­self, the woman’s con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated due to ex­ces­sive bleed­ing. She re­quired im­medi- ate hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion but when vil­lagers re­fused to touch her cit­ing tribal tra­di­tions, the young doc­tor de­cided to shoul­der the re­spon­si­bil­ity him­self. Lit­er­ally.

“Any fur­ther de­lay would have been dis­as­trous for the woman. So her hus­band and my­self car­ried her on a cot while an ASHA worker car­ried the new born,” he re­counted to Ex­press over phone from Pa­pu­lur. They man­aged to reach the PHC (New) be­fore evening.

Post-de­liv­ery, the woman had de­vel­oped Grade III pla­centa pre­via, an ob­stet­ric com­pli­ca­tion where the pla­centa is in­serted par­tially or wholly in the lower uter­ine seg­ment. “She also had suf­fered haem­or­rhages while blood pres­sure dipped along with pulse rate. Mor­tal­ity is high in such con­di­tions. Thank God, both mother and child are safe,” he says with a sigh of re­lief.

As pic­tures of Hota walk­ing through the hilly ter­rains car­ry­ing Sub­ham on a cot spread through so­cial me­dia, ap­pre­ci­a­tions poured in.

But he is more than happy to have saved the life of a mother and a new­born.

But this is not a one-off act for Hota. Posted since March 31 this year, he has shoul­dered pa­tients from far off Alurkota, Gu­ralur, Ka­malpur, Mu­raliguda, Ka­p­atuti, Sadre and Sin­ta­gu­nal vil­lages when the need arose.

The neigh­bours re­fused to trans­port my wife. Had the doc­tor not taken up the re­spon­si­bil­ity, I would have lost my wife and baby Sun­daray Marse, Pa­tient’s hus­band

VIL­LAGERS RE­FUSED TO TOUCH HER On get­ting a call, Dr Hota went to Sarigeta and car­ried out the de­liv­ery. But the woman’s con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated, and vil­lagers re­fused to touch her cit­ing tribal tra­di­tions. He then de­cided to shoul­der the re­spon­si­bil­ity - lit­er­ally

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