If you were to travel back a year in Bastar, you’d find that not many emergency health services were available to the public. The terrain of the forest was largely unsuitable for regular ambulances to navigate their way through and hence, many people died because they could not make it to the hospital on time. However, there is now a two-wheeler motorcycle ambulance that is accessing remote villages in Bastar for villagers to get treatment. This has saved over 200 lives, many of whom were pregnant mothers who could not access hospitals for delivery.
According to the Logical Indian, “Bastar have witnessed a significant drop in maternal and infant mortality rate. The concept of this ambulance have been adopted from the African countries, where a side-carriage is fixed to four-stroke motorcycle customised for the comfort of the patient. They are run only by local riders who are given basic first-aid training.” In addition, the effort is having a major upgrade with The National Institute of Technology (NIT), Raipur improving the design of the motorcycle ambulance to enhance efficiency. The ambulance currently costs Rs 1.7 lakh and Rs 15,000 per month for maintenance.
In a report to the Indian Express, Ajay Trakroo, Health specialist at UNICEF, says that the project had begun last year and was supported by UNICEF in collaboration with an NGO, Saathi Samaj Sevi Sanstha, and the Health Department of the state government.“Pregnant women are our main focus in the area as mortality rate is high in this conflict bound region of Chhattisgarh. With this experiment we are trying to provide necessary health care to the pregnant women of this Maoist-affected tribal and hard-to- reach forest area,” said Trakroo to IANS.
Feature Image Courtesy of Indian Express
Words: Divija Mohan