Denied ambulance, they rode with sick daughter on bike for 30 km
RATLAM: Carried by her father on a bike, an IV needle in her arm and a saline bottle in her mother's hands, a four-year-old was driven 30 km to a hospital in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday. Tragically, she did not survive. Jeeja, whose parents lived in Nandleta village, was suffering from high fever and the local health centre had referred her to the big hospital.
Her father Ghanshyam, a daily wage worker, asked the health centre to arrange for an ambulance to take her. But the health centre expressed its inability.
Ghanshyam did not waste any time. He called a friend, and they decided to ferry the sick child to the hospital on his bike. As his friend drove, he sat on the pillion, his wife Dinabai sat behind him holding the IV bottle. But when they reached Ratlam government hospital, the doctors declared Jeeja brought dead.
After the matter was reported in the local media, the acting Collector of Ratlam, Somesh Mishra, ordered an inquiry. The report said the primary health care centre in Sailana had only one ambulance and that too had broken down three months ago.
Doctors at the Sailana health centre said they had asked the contractor, in charge of maintenance, to repair the ambulance but he had not done the job for three months.
The lack of proper ambulance and hearse facilities in rural areas has been in focus since the heart-rending images of an Odisha farmer Dana Manjhi, carrying his dead wife on his shoulder walking home shocked the nation in September 2016.
A month later, a senior professor of the Aligarh Muslim University died while waiting for an ambulance for hours. In December last year, a 14-year-old, who was battling kidney failure, died in Kanchipuram after waiting for an ambulance to take her to a hospital in Chennai for nearly seven hours.
with Agency inputs