TODAY -

Thoubalphobia ill-fated Malemnganbi's Child Delivery

Mamta Lukram *

 Thoudam Malemnganbi @ Abem
Thoudam Malemnganbi @ Abem



Few days back, a picture collage of a young lady and a newborn was posted, sharing a disheartening update on how the young lady passed away during the child's delivery. More disturbing was the content which indicated a sense of stigmatisation, discontentment over public attitude of overlooking the fact that the virus has no borders.

Getting a flashback reality check, everyone knows that Thoubal district has been put under stringent restriction because of the fear that it is becoming the hot bed of COVID 19 local transmission in the state. A disastrous community response of districtphobia or Thoubalphobia are brewed in the minds as the side effect.

Nevertheless, during these hard times of global crisis whereby doctors and health workers front-lining in strategic combat against the disease, misunderstanding their constraints and thereby blaming them from all angles may not be the right step.

Interaction with the bereaved family members reveals a different layout. We need to introspect causal factors by enquiring if the system has any direct and indirect role.

Digging deep, some specific factors are found responsible for the unfortunate incident.

The confirmation of COVID 19 positive cases with no travel history and imposition of complete curfew in the district only, restricting public movement created hardships.

Social dejection by people from other parts of the state restraining people from this district entering public and private places in other parts is another factor. The psychological insecurity bears its alarming significance too.

The heart wrenching story is about Thoudam Malemnganbi @ Abem, 24 years, W/O Thoudam Sanjitkumar 33 yrs from Thoubal Thoudam Mamang Leikai, ward no 3/14, who unfortunately passed away on Sunday, 2nd August 2020 during child delivery.

According to family members, Malemnganbi used to have regular check-ups in the district hospital during the last past months. She was also a private patient of a doctor posted in Thoubal District Hospital. She already had a six years old son through normal delivery, and everything has been running quite normal for her.

Catastrophe spelt in her life when 3 doctors and a grade IV posted in Thoubal District Hospital were confirmed COVID 19 positive leading to sealing of the hospital.

Rejecting treatment of people from Thoubal District in other hospitals, without COVID 19 test results, multiplies the inconveniences. Erecting barricades with bamboo fences blocking people from any other district, Thoubal in particular, was the greatest mental and mobility set back to the family.

By the time, as her due date approached, her family failed to maintain smooth communication with the concerned doctor. Fixed in chaos, the family tried to contact a hospital which didn't turn up with any recommendable solution. Being caught in a choiceless dilemma, the family was reduced to a state of helplessness.

The only hope was, as the lady gave normal delivery to her first son who is now six years old, and her concerned doctor was of the view that everything was normal, there is a high probability of successful normal delivery for this second time too. So, the family started looking for options.

Relying on traditional practice was the idea open to them. As shared by the family, they were little hopeful getting the information that after COVID 19 lockdown has destroyed normalcy, few other families have also successfully relied on traditional midwifery.

So, when Malemnganbi started experiencing her natural labour contraction, she was fed to traditional midwifery. Luckily by 8.40 am in the morning of Sunday, 2nd August 2020, she delivered a baby boy and the condition was stable. The family rejoiced and breathed a sigh of relief with the successful step.

The whole family had been busy with post-delivery initiatives and preparing food for her when she suddenly started showing signs of discomfort. She was attended by a nurse, but her health lapsed into critical juncture due to complicacies of internal bleeding. Within no time, she succumbed. The ill-fated family was left behind in a shock.

Later, the child seems to develop some discomfort, the panic-stricken family come out looking for medical assistance, which rather was even more disheartening. They headed for Shija Hospital which demanded test results or either a note confirming the test has been conducted.

This made them wait outside the Thoubal CMO office with the motherless new-born for hours in vain. They took up the courage and managed to get in through Shija Hospital. The hospital staff, keeping under consideration the situation, contacted a Paediatrician over the phone and the doctor gave telephonic instructions, responding to the need of the infant.

Finally, the family members reached home late evening after having tested negative for COVID 19 in Thoubal district hospital. As expressed by the family member, COVID 19 has created havoc to their family. They don't hold anyone in particular as responsible for the loss in the family, but the pandemic.

They were of the view that it was neither out of carelessness nor financial constraint that the unfortunate mother was made to deliver her baby at home, but out of endless confusions that stuck them in every step. They resign to their fate, however, are disheartened with the system of disarray submerging in endless confusion the lives of common people.


* Mamta Lukram wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at mamtalukram(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on August 07, 2020



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