UNICEF in Emergencies

Monsoon and Floods



Bihar: Maternity huts set up for flood-hit

Baragawan Gachi flood relief camp
© UNICEF/India/2007
Bihar Chief Minister Shri Nitish Kumar inspecting the maternity huts during his visit to the Baragawan Gachi flood relief camp in Kalyanpur block, Samastipur district.

Samastipur, Bihar, 30 August 2007: UNICEF and the Bihar government have come together with an innovative idea for providing medical care facilities to expecting mothers in the flood affected areas and set up maternity huts.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday visited one such hut established at Bargamma Gachi village in Kalyanpur block of Samastipur district and applauded the efforts of the Health department and UNICEF for providing such a vital health service to women affected by the floods. The centres will provide maternity services including antenatal care and safe delivery.

He said, "Please distribute sweets on my behalf when the first delivery takes place here."

The hut that was set up two days earlier has already provided antenatal care to 21 women and from among the same a delivery is expected any moment.

The maternity hut is manned by four Auxiliary Nurse Midwifes, four paramedical staff and three doctors on rotation duty.

Electricity for the facility has been ensured through a generator and all basic equipment, apparatus and furniture such as beds, delivery kits, sanitary sheets, towels, medicines etc. have been provided to ensure safe deliveries.

Baragawan Gachi flood relief camp
© UNICEF/India/2007
Media persons surround the Chief Minister at the flood relief camp. The health department and UNICEF plan to set up eight more maternity huts in the coming days, in the worst affected areas.

The maternity hut also has an out-patient department which caters to ailments such as diarrhoea, skin infections, worms and such. Within the last two days, around 1,100 patients had already been treated.

The health department and UNICEF plan to set up eight more maternity huts within the next three days in flood affected areas of the state where maternity services have been impaired by the onslaught of the floods.

Bijaya Rajbhandari, state representative of UNICEF said: "In natural calamites such as this women and children suffer the most. The suffering is further compounded for women who are pregnant or supposed to deliver due to lack of antenatal and delivery services. Being able to have a baby in a clean, hygienic environment assisted by a skilled birth attendant could mean the difference between life and death for both the mother and child.”



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